Honeybees have almost three million hairs on their tiny bodies. Each hair is strategically placed to carry pollen and also to brush it off. Researchers at Georgia Tech used high-speed footage of tethered bees covered in pollen to see how these hairs work.
They found that the hairs on a bee’s eye are spaced to fit one grain of pollen. However, the heft of a bee’s pollen load is on the legs, which are five times hairier. The same hairs are really useful during grooming—bees can remove 15,000 particles of pollen in three minutes.
“Bees are completely covered in sensory hairs that they use to detect air flows and chemical cue. In order to function properly, these sensory hairs should be kept clean,” researcher Guillermo Amador told Quartz. “We definitely think bees are compulsive cleaners.”
Watch our video to see bees clean themselves.