Cole Porter sang about bees doing it nearly 100 years ago, but until now the precise mechanics of their copulation has remained mostly unseen by human eyes.
This week the world finally got a glimpse behind the curtain thanks to arthropod macro photographer Karla Thompson, who recently published a 35-second bee sex video on YouTube. Despite the tasteful title—"Long-Horned Bee Mating Behavior"—her footage is actually quite graphic. It features more hardcore antennae curling, side stroking, and rear mounting bee-on-bee action than anyone might expect.
"While it is pretty common knowledge bees use their antennae to sense the world around them, this video shows something a little extra," Thompson explained. "During the session the male would use his legs to softly stroke the female's sides. During actual penetration, the female would throw her legs up and struggle to dislodge the male. This is when the male would reach out with his extra long antennae and curl them around the female's antennae rhythmically stroking upward in what seems to be a pacifying gesture."
At least that explains all the "whoop"-ing. Check out Karla's video (above).