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  • OK, time to head to work.

  • But before this honey bee starts her commute, she's prepping her tools.

  • Because honey bees collect pollen.

  • You knew that.

  • But it's not as simple as you might think.

  • Plants want the bees to carry the pollen away and spread it to other flowers.

  • That's pollination, how plants reproduce.

  • But bees also need to carry lots of it homepollen is a protein-packed food for the hive.

  • Luckily, they have the right gear.

  • They're hairy, like tiny flying teddy bears.

  • She's covered in 3 million hairs for trapping pollen.

  • They're even on her eyes.

  • Here on her legs, they're shaped into spiky brushes and flat combs.

  • When she lands on a bloom, she really gets in there.

  • Nibbling on the flower's anthers detaches the pollen.

  • Time to pack up her haul.

  • She cleans it off her eyes and antennae with those brushes on her front legs... like windshield wipers.

  • Here it is up close.

  • That leg wipes the pollen right off her eye.

  • Then she moves the pollen from leg to leg, like a conveyor belt... front to middle to back.

  • The bee does this super-fast, while she flies from bloom to bloom, moving the pollen into special baskets on her back legs called corbiculae.

  • She bends her leg, using it to squish the pollen into a ball, packing it together with a little saliva and nectar.

  • She can get as many as 160,000 pollen grains into each ball.

  • She's hauling as much as one-third of her weight.

  • Back at the hive, meal prep is about to start.

  • But the pollen isn't for making honey.

  • The honey, under this wax, is made from nectar.

  • They eat it for its sugar.

  • Bees turn pollen into something completely different: bee bread.

  • That's their source of protein.

  • Step one: Find an open spot.

  • Step two: Deposit your goods and pack them neatly.

  • Step three: Let the pollen "marinate" with a hint of honey.

  • And voilà! It's ready.

  • The pantry is stockedboth for adult bees and the babies that are growing in the cells next door.

  • The adults pop in to drop off a special bee bread snack… a little home cooking for the hive's future hard-working flyers.

  • OK.

  • More bees?

  • We'll keep them coming.

  • Blue orchard bees build nests that look like stunning jewels.

  • And bumblebees really have to shake what they've got to get their pollen.

  • One more thing: If you love Deep Look, why not join our hive mind on Patreon today?

  • We've got a limited-time offer to sweeten the deal.

  • Link is in the description.

  • Thanks.

OK, time to head to work.

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B2 US pollen honey hive bee leg bloom

Honey Bees Make Honey ... and Bread? | Deep Look

  • 242 10
    April Lu posted on 2019/11/10
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