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Legs and Wings of Honey Bees

This page is credited in full to Dave Cushman who created it. His voice is expressed in black colour text and any additions or comments in blue belong to myself. Credit: Dave Cushman’s website.

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The Legs and Wings of Honey Bees

The simple illustrations of the drone, worker and queen castes of honey bees was originally taken from an old book. It shows the numbers of legs and the relative sizes and shapes… Left to right, worker, queen and drone.

Worker, Queen and Drone

Note all three have six legs and four wings.

A honey bee’s wings are arranged in two pairs that are coupled together by a row of hooks on the hind wing that grip in a groove that exists on the rear edge of the fore wing. As the wings unfold for flight the hooks automatically fall into the groove and lock the two wings into a single aerofoil surface. Although the wings are coupled they are still relatively flexible and bend considerably whilst in flight.

Wings showing hook and groove coupling of fore and hind wings

The hooks are labeled ‘A’ with the groove indicated as ‘B’.

The photomicrograph has been pinched from the Tucson ‘gears’ website.
Photomicrograph of wing hooks

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