Honey Bee Anatomy

Honey Bee’s are amazing creatures. Learning about the biology of honey bee’s can help beekeepers and learners alike. (Hover over the picture to get more information on the different sections of the honey bee(on a PC or tablet only) – this page will be updated with more anatomy information)

Honey Bee Anatomy - a painting of the inside of a honeybee
Wax Glands

The wax glands come out as a liquid and as it contacts air - converts into a solid.

Flight Muscles

The flight muscle is the main section in the Thorax of the honey bee. The flight muscles do not attach directly to the wings - but rather the muscles contract and loosens the Thorax which causes the wings to move in tandem. 


The proventriculus is a muscular valve located between the Honey Stomach and the Venticulus (the stomach). 

The honey bee has control of this valve. When its eating, it will open this value and allow honey/pollen to enter into the stomach. When its collecting nectar it will keep this value and allow the nectar to build up in the honey stomach. 


Honey bees have three ocelli positioned on top of the head. The ocelli form a triangle like shape. Overall, the exact function of the ocelli is unknown due to the ocelli not directly connected to the nerve area but they do receive light.

The best educated guess is that it assists the honey bees within their hive - which is most cases tends to have low light levels.

Tarsal Pad and Claws

The tarsal pads are located at the very end of each leg. They contain sensors that assists the honey bee to taste, smell, and feel. 

In human terms, this would be like having an extra nose and taste buds located on on the bottom of our feet...


Honey bees (like nearly all insects) has 10 spiracles or air openings. 10 on one side and 10 on the other. 3 are located on the thorax and 7 on the abdomen. 

This is how the bee breaths air and releases carbon dioxide. Both of these stay in their gas form to and from the cells traveling through the tracheae system.

Honey Bee Anatomy

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