On the left and below you can see an SEM image
of the entire antenna of a worker, with the long scape, roundish pedicel followed by 10 smaller
segments that make up the flagellum, the worker and queen antennae are the same, but the male has 11 segments in his flagellum.
Above centre is a more magnified image of the end segments,
and above right, showing just the final segment you can just make out
the pore plates. The pore plates detect smells and send signals to the brain.
The bees can detect the direction of the smell as they have two antennae.
have binocular vision to help us tell how far away an object is. With two
antennae the bumblebee can monitor the concentration of the odour molecules and
decide whether to move towards or away from the source.
here for full size image of pore plates.
Taste and smell are conveyed to the bee through the tiny hairs on the antenna and mouthparts. The scent molecules pass through the tiny pores on the pore plates (see above), then stick to receptor sites on the sensory cells. The pore plates are also involved in the sense of smell.