The image on the right shows the branched hairs between
the eyes of the bumblebee. You can see the typical hexagonal facets that make
up the compound eyes of many insects.
he bumblebee's sense of touch is mainly conveyed through receptor cells located at the base of the variously shaped hairs and spines located all over the bee's body. This give the bee information on the direction and pressure of the impact. Some hairs may also be sensitive to sound waves. As with most insects there is a great concentration of sensory hairs on the antenna, and especially at the junction of the pedicel with the scape (the elbow).
Bumblebee hair colour
makes them very noticeable. They have the typical warning colours of yellow and black. This protects
them from being attacked. A bird or mammal need only be stung once by a black
and yellow insect to know better, and to learn that black and yellow things are
not to be messed with.
This works so well that many insects are this colour,
not just bumblebees, such as wasps, hornets and even poisonous caterpillars.
This is called Mullerian mimicry, after the man who first wrote about it. There
is another kind of mimicry and that is called Batesian mimicry, also named
after the person who first explained it. This is when a harmless species mimics
the protective colouring (or other type of protection) of a harmful species.
This can be seen in some hairy hoverflies which mimic bumblebees. These
hoverflies have no sting, and cannot bite, but because they look like
bumblebees, and some of them also buzz like bumblebees, they escape a certain
amount of predation.