July 24, 2018 by KathyMay
Honey bees have had a close relationship with humans for thousands of years and have been intensively studied and observed by both scientists and beekeepers. Despite the accumulation of knowledge and ever-increasing understanding of bee behavior, there are still a number of mysteries that bees guard. One of these behaviors that is yet to be thoroughly understood is called festooning. If you have ever been in a hive and noticed the bees seem clingy and hang from or between frames in chains, you have seen festooning.
The ‘toes’ that cling to each other are technically tarsal claws, the last segments of the end of each leg. Each of the six legs terminates in a pair of claws that together with the other structures of the lower leg provide a great deal of dexterity. In addition to hanging onto the comb and other bees during festooning, tarsal claws allow bees to grip a variety of surfaces and textures which is particularly useful when foraging.
The complete article on this interesting bee behavior is published on the Bee Informed Partnership website. The Blog post is written by Dan Wyns.
Join us at the 2018 Honey Festival to see festooning – up close and personal!