Do bees have knees?

Yes, bees do have knees which they primarily use for walking and running.

Are you really curious about the knees of the bee or about the phrase “the bee’s knees”?

Don’t worry! In this article, we will cover both the topics about the bee’s knees. Let’s first understand the anatomy of the bee’s leg.

Like other insects, bees also have three pairs of legs primarily used for walking and running. Each pair of these legs are of different size and have a different purpose. The front legs of the bees have notches filled with stiff hairs that are used for cleaning antenna. The hind leg of the bees has a special tool called pollen basket which is used for the accumulation of pollens.

Do You Know?

One bee has to fly about 90,000 miles – three times around the globe – to make one pound of honey.

Each leg is split into 6 segments which makes them very flexible.

These segmented legs are consist of coxa, trochanter, femur, tibia, metatarsus, and tarsus.

CoxaThis is the first segment of a bee leg.
TrochanterIt is the second segment of a bee leg.
FemurFemur is the third segment of a bee leg.
TibiaIt is the fourth segment of a bee leg. The tibia of the hind leg holds the pollen basket.
MetatarsusIt is the fifth segment of a bee leg. The metatarsus of the hind leg holds special pollen collecting tools.
TarsusThis is the last segment of the leg which touches the walking surface.

Do You Know?

A honey bee can fly for up to six miles, and as fast as 15 miles per hour.

As we know that in humans the joint which connects the femur (thigh bone) and tibia is called the knee. Similarly, the joint between femur and tibia in bees resembles human knees.

Now we know that bees have knees. Let’s look at the phrase “the bee’s knees”.

Whenever the phrase “the bee’s knees” is used for something, which means that it is excellent and outstanding. It can be used to appreciate or admire some person or thing. This phrase might be popular and so special because it is the bee’s knee where sweet stuff is present and therefore it can be used to say sweet things. It is believed that the use of this phrase started around the 1920s in New York, America. Along with this phrase, there are several phrases such as “the cat’s pyjamas”, “the snake’s hips”, “the kipper’s knickers”, “the monkey’s eyebrows”, and “the sardine’s whiskers”.

Do You Know?

Honey bees must gather nectar (sugar-rich liquid) from two million flowers to make one pound of honey.

Here are some of the examples where the bee’s knees phrase is used:

  • Have you seen my new bicycle? I think they are the bee’s knees.
  • Your shoes are the bee’s knees.

Professor Atom

View posts by Professor Atom
Professor Atom is a science enthusiast and alumni of IIT Bombay. According to him, every question can be solved with curiosity and mind mapping. ( Curiosity = Asking Questions = Learning )

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