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Bee wings under the microscope

Postby a932ad47e6db4324b93c493d6266fa7d » Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:17 pm

We were investigating bee wings under the microscope. We saw what looked like barbs all over the wing. What are those?


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Re: Bee wings under the microscope

Postby NehaK6 » Fri Jan 08, 2021 9:20 pm

Hi Wally!

This is a great question, and I learned something new today while researching for it! I found a video from Dr. Shawn Clark answering this question. The link for him answering is listed here (https://youtu.be/ZYVEDWpsRIE?t=185), but I recommend watching the entire video (https://youtu.be/ZYVEDWpsRIE)!

Here's a link (https://askabiologist.asu.edu/honey-bee-anatomy) from Arizona State University about the other body parts of a bee, if you would like to read more about them. It has some great visuals.

Hope this helps!

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Re: Bee wings under the microscope

Postby junerii » Mon Feb 01, 2021 9:38 pm

Under the microscope, you are seeing little hairs that protect the bee's transparent wings against getting wet, contaminated with dust/dirt, etc. These little hairs are called "microtichia".

Hope that answers your question!

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Re: Bee wings under the microscope

Postby cnoonan180 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 7:03 pm


This is a really interesting project idea!

Observations are a very important part of the scientific method, great work noticing this!

Where are the "barbs" located on the bee wing? It seems like they can be one of two things called hamuli or, like a fellow mentor suggested, "microtichia."

Hamuli should be located between the bee's smaller, hind wing and help connect the hind wing to the forewing. Microtichia, on the other hand, should look like small lines that cover the entire wing, where hamuli will only be at the edge of the smaller wing.

What you are seeing are most likely microtichia. Check out this gallery of microscopic images of a bee wing for some other pictures of bee wings under a microscope, and remember to double-check the information you read with a mentor at Science Buddies or through some other reputable source!

http://www.microbehunter.com/forum/phot ... -2-hamuli/

Hope this helps!

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