Honey bee (Apis melifera) on Bittercress or Herb Barbara (Barbarea vulgaris)

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Honey bee (Apis melifera) on Bittercress or Herb Barbara (Barbarea vulgaris)

This is most likely one of the bees from the 'Bijenvereninging' (Beekeepers organisation) pavilion called Bee for the World which is very close to this garden on the Floriade.


The genus name Barbarea derives from Saint Barbara, the patron saint of artillerymen and miners, as this plant in the past was used to soothe the wounds caused by explosions. The species Latin name vulgaris means “common”.


This plant grows to about 30–60 centimetres (12–24 in) of height, with a maximum of 1 metre (3 ft 3 in). The stem is ribbed and hairless, branched at the base. It has a basal rosettes of shiny, dark green leaves. The basal leaves are stalked and lyre-pinnatifid, that is with a large terminal lobe and smaller lower lobes. The cauline leaves are smaller, ovate, toothed or lobed. The flowers are borne in spring in dense terminal clusters above the foliage. They are 7–9 millimetres (0.28–0.35 in) long, with four bright yellow petals.The flowering period extends from about April through July. The fruit is a pod of about 15–30 millimetres (0.59–1.2 in).


Chemical substances in this species include saponins, flavonoids, and glucosinolates.

Natural insect resistance and its potential use in agriculture

Most Barbarea vulgaris genotypes are naturally resistant to some insect species that are otherwise specialized on the crucifer family. In the case of diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) and the flea beetle Phyllotreta nemorum, the resistance is caused by saponins. Glucosinolates such as glucobarbarin and glucobrassicin are used as a cue for egg-laying by female cabbage white butterflies such as Pieris rapae. Indeed, the larvae of this butterfly thrive well on this plant. Diamond back moth females are also stimulated by these chemicals, but the larvae die due to the content of saponins which are apparently not sensed by the moths. This phenomenon has been tested for biological insect control: B. vulgaris plants are placed in a field and attract much of the diamondback moth egg load. As the larvae die shortly after hatching, this kind of insect control has been named "dead-end trap cropping".

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Comments (9)

bdeh on May 10, 2012

Prima macro van dit bedreigde insect Erik, fraaie kleuren en scherpte verloop. M. Groeten Berend

Nadia Kushnir on May 10, 2012


Jack Tol on May 10, 2012

Top-macrootje Erik. Mooi ingedeeld in beeld en mooie softe achtergrond.

Wel gewaagd om te veronderstellen dat deze van de 'Bijenvereniging' is. Ze zouden ze eigenlijk moeten 'ringen' om daar zekerheid over te krijgen.



Erik van den Ham on May 11, 2012

Hallo Berend en Jack dat 'ringen'is ook gebeurt; 25 bijen hebben een chipje op hun rug. Elk van deze bijen heeft een naam. Zichtbaar is welke bij hoe laat vertrekt en ook hoe laat ze weer terugkeert.

Zo valt te lezen op de site van de imkersvereniging! En wie niet waagt die niet wint......

Laat ik zeggen ik ben er bijna zeker van.

Heel veel plezier en vooral mooi weer toegewenst op de Panoramiomeeting Berend helaas moet ik het dit jaar laten afweten.

Thanks Nadia it's always good to BEE NICE!

Groeten, Greetings, Erik

cjlin on May 11, 2012

Very beautiful. cjlin

BOGDAN de Varsovie on May 12, 2012

Prefect shot. LIKE 6. Best Greetings. Bogdan

Rol/Photo/Alsace on May 15, 2012

Superbe composition.. excellente Macro YSL

Amitiés, roland

khoi tranduc on May 30, 2012

Very nice macro! Like!

odeveld on May 31, 2012

MOOI!! Met vriendelijke groeten, Odeveld

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 9, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Erik van den Ham