Honey bees are extraordinary creatures! Their eye sight is just one of their many super powers. Honey bees see ultraviolet light, as well as color combinations of purples, blues and greens. They are unable to see the color red, although they are able to visualize orange and yellow tones. Most would guess that a honey bee has only two eyes, but these amazing creatures actually have five eyes.
The two main eyes of the honey bee are called compound eyes. These very large eyes are located on each side of the bee’s head and are used for general-distance vision. These eyes are made up of thousands of tiny lenses, called facets. These lenses piece together a mosaic-like image of what the honey bee is able to visualize.
A fun fact that many people don’t know, is that bees have three small simple eyes, called ocelli, located on the top of her head, in a triangular position. Ocelli are used to detect changes in light. For example, these three eyes would allow a honey bee to sense if she is being approached by a predator. Ocelli also help her to maintain stability and navigate in poor lighting conditions.
The next time you observe a honey bee on a flower, think about not only her amazing eye-sight, but the never-ending gift she gives us each day.
Let’s Bee Inspired!