I was surprised when looking through my copy of “The Hive and The Honey Bee” this last week to learn that bees have an antenna cleaner structure on their fore-legs. I’ve seen bees cleaning their antennae, but I’ve never heard of such a thing!
Anyway, there’s an article download-able for free from Apidologie entitled, “THE FUNCTION OF THE ANTENNA CLEANER OF THE HONEYBEE (APIS MELLIFICA)”, which discusses the subject for those who are curious. This once again proves that nothing is above, (or below) scientific scrutiny. It has some O.K. looking black and white macros of bees cleaning antenna, and a very nice electron micrograph of an antenna in an antenna cleaner. The article itself is short and mostly about the mechanics and anatomy of bee knee antenna cleaners.
Get it here!
And here is a video of my own Bee Macros, for those of you that really like to see their bee up close and personal. Watch it at 2:04 to see a bee clean her antenna.