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Dimensions3141 x 2094
Original file size586 KB
Image typeJPEG
Honeybee on beech honeydew

Honey bee consuming honeydew droplets on bark of a Nothofagus beech tree. There is actually a third, largely unseen, animal at the centre of this interaction. The beech scale insect is inside the bark of the tree and has tapped into the phloem of the tree giving it so much sugar that it actually secretes waste sugar out the tube that the bee can be seen feeding from. The honeydew is a fundamentally important resource for beech forest ecosystems, but in recent times honey bees and most detrimentally , introduced wasps, have consumed the resource.