Apis through the Looking Glass

A close-up look at Apis mellifera - the honeybee

This book is based on a lecture “Honeybee Anatomy” which was first given at the BBKA Spring Convention 2009 held in Stoneleigh. It provides a close up look at the external and internal structures of the honeybee.

The majority of photos were taken using a digital camera mounted on a trinocular dissection microscope.

Dissection of the bee to study the internal anatomy has to be carried out with the bee immersed in dissection fluid which provides support for the soft internal organs. Dissection is not a difficult skill to acquire but it does require patience and steady hands.

About the Author

Graham has been beekeeping since 1988 and started to study for the BBKA examinations in 1995 when he decided he wanted to know more about the bees he was keeping. His studies resulted in achieving the BBKA Master Beekeeper certificate in 2002 and the National Diploma in Beekeeping in 2004. He was also awarded the Wax Chandler’s prize in 2002.

Further Study

If you do want to ‘have a go’ then details of the techniques used to dissect the honeybee can be found in ‘Anatomy and Dissection of the Honeybee’ by H. A. Dade.

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