19 June 2012

Bee sting evisceration

A photograph by Kathy Keatley Garvey captures a honeybee's sting, with its abdominal tissue trailing behind.
UC Davis communications specialist Kathy Keatley Garvey in the Department of Entomology said she has taken at least 1 million photos of honeybees in her lifetime, but this snapshot won the first-place gold feature photo award in an Association for Communication Excellence competition...

The images showed the progression of the sting, but the most interesting part was that the bee's abdominal tissue lingered behind, she said. "As far as I know, nobody's been able to record anything like this," Garvey said. She said the only time she's seen it illustrated was in a textbook.
Source (wait for it)... The Sacramento... Bee (link now dead). Relevant information and additional photos in the sequence at the photographer's post at Bug Squad.

Via BoingBoing, where I found this interesting observation in a comment:
Their stingers developed for defending their hives by stinging the rigid bodies of other bees and insects, not for stinging the stretchy skin of mammals. One bee can sting another bee/insect several times.
I didn't know that. You learn something every day.


  1. Bless the honeybees. I am seeing fewer and fewer around here. Not good.

  2. I had this happen before as young person. In fact, the material stretched out further and the bee was still trying to fly away.

    Freaked me out with the pain, and then seeing the sight of half it's innards stretched out and the attacker still suspended in air less than a foot away.


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