The integument of insects (and other arthropods) comprises the basal lamina, epidermis, and cuticle. It is often thought of as the "skin" of an insect but it has many other functions (Locke, 1974). Not only does it provide physical protection for internal organs but, because of its rigidity, it serves as a skeleton to which muscles can be attached. It also reduces water loss to a very low level in most Insecta, a feature that has been of great significance in the evolution of this predominantly terrestrial class. In addition to these primary functions, the cuticular component of the integument performs a number of secondary duties. It acts as a metabolic reserve, to be used cyclically to construct the next stage, or during periods of great metabolic activity or starvation. It prevents entry of foreign material, both living and nonliving, into an insect. In many insects the waxy outer layer serves as a repository for contact sex pheromones (Chapter 13, Section 4.1.1). The color of insects is also a function of the integument, especially the cuticular component.

The integument is not a uniform structure. On the contrary, both its cellular and acellular components may be differentiated in a variety of ways to suit an insect's needs. Epidermal cells may form specialized glands that produce components of the cuticle or may develop into particular parts of sense organs. The cuticle itself is variously differentiated according to the function it is required to perform. Where muscles are attached or where abrasion may occur it is thick and rigid; at points of articulation it is flexible and elastic; over some sensory structures it may be extremely thin.

Beekeeping for Beginners

Beekeeping for Beginners

The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.

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