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Every few weeks a photo of a fly lands in my inbox, always accompanied by the same question: “What kind of bee is this?” The answer is simple. If your insect has short, stubby, barely visible antennae, it is not a bee.

On the contrary, a bee antenna is long, graceful, mobile, and insanely cute. But beyond that, the antennae are a bee’s major data collection tools, containing receptors for touch, taste, and smell. Antennae can also detect temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide, along with gravity and wind speed.1 Much of what a bee “knows” arrives through those two slender filaments.

The word antenna is derived from the Latin antemna. On Roman sailing ships, an antemna was a type of horizontal mast-mounted spar designed to spread square-rigged sails. With a little imagination, perhaps you too can envision your bees with rigging. Sail ho!

Read full article here: A quick-start guide to honey bee antennae — Honey Bee Suite