How Many Eyes Do Bees Have? Fascinating Facts You May Not Know | Kidadl


How Many Eyes Do Bees Have? Fascinating Facts You May Not Know

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A honey bee is mainly responsible for making honey from the nectar of flowers.

You probably think that there should not be a single bee around in our environment because it can sting you, which hurts a lot. You might also think that if bees go extinct then the only loss to the environment is the honey.

But, the loss is much more than that. If bees go extinct, then the entire world’s ecosystem will be destroyed. It’s not only about the honey; it's about the entire world’s life forms. You may see bees as small and annoying, but they play a major role in maintaining the ecosystem and benefit humans in many different ways. Next time, when you eat honey, just remember that this is a very precious thing and appreciate the hard work of a honey bee.

After you have read the top facts about honeybee eyes, we would like to share some more fun facts with you. We are sure that you would enjoy reading other top facts about how many eyes do flies have and how many hearts does a worm have?

What are compound eyes?

The definition of a compound eye includes many scientific terms, which make it a bit difficult to understand. Here is a simple explanation of a compound eye. A compound eye is simply an eye that consists of numerous eyes. Compound eyes actually have thousands of photoreceptors that perform the function of detecting light and color in this diverse environment.

Compound eyes are a common feature found in arthropods, mainly in an insect, including flies, and bees, and crustaceans such as prawns, shrimps, and lobsters. You may have seen these types of eyes in movies and cartoons, most probably of a housefly. If not, then you can watch a video which shows bee eyes. The image formed by compound eyes is a combination of thousands of images that each photoreceptor receives. The image resolution of compound eyes is not as good as single-aperture eyes, but they provide enough details to the insect. Do you know that bees have five eyes in total? Two large compound eyes and three simple tiny eyes. This combination of large and small eyes provides bees with great vision, which helps them in their survival. Honey bees can see ultraviolet light with these eyes as well.

What are ocelli eyes?

Other than two compound eyes, the three simple eyes of the bee are called ocelli eyes. A single ocelli eye is called an ocellus. These eyes are very useful in the survival of a bee and other small insects around the world. These eyes have tiny lenses which are helpful in detecting the movement of other things or organisms. Do you know that some arthropods have only got ocelli eyes and not compound eyes? Still, they survive after being so small. Now you understand how important these eyes are for bees or any other insect.

A bee has three ocelli eyes which are present in triangular shapes. The two eyes at the bottom are called dorsal ocelli and the one at the center is called central ocelli. The shapes of ocelli eyes help a bee to locate itself with respect to the sun. This helps the bee to see in the daylight. But, do you know that there are some species of bees that are crepuscular? This means that they are only active either during dusk or during dawn. These species have enlarged ocelli eyes which can detect even any minute difference in the light, and help them to navigate even in the dark.

Closeup of a male hairy-footed flower bee.

The image formed by these ocelli eyes is not focused and lacks details. These eyes are mainly to detect light levels. These eyes tell insects like flies and bees, where the sky is and where the land is, through the difference in light levels. The grounds show low light while the sky shows more light. The detailed image part is fulfilled by the compound eyes.

Why do bees have five eyes?

As earlier said, a bee has a total of five eyes; two of them are compound eyes and the other three are simple eyes, known as ocelli. Both these types of eyes have their own function which helps bees to have a vision that is required by them to perform their activities in the ecological cycles.

Do you know that bees' vision is considered a wonder of nature? This is because bees can detect color much faster than human beings. Bees can see and differentiate between flowers on the basis of their colors even when flying at a very high speed. Bees have this ultimate vision because of their five eyes. The compound eyes and the ocelli eyes together form an image in the mind of bees which they can analyze and respond to accordingly.

Also, these five eyes give a honey bee the ability to see ultraviolet light. This ultraviolet light helps honey bees to distinguish between flowers when looking for nectar. A bee can see even those patterns which are not visible to human eyes. They do this with their ability to see ultraviolet light. Experts have observed that bees are mainly attracted to purple, violet, and blue colors.

What is the function of compound and ocelli eyes?

The eyes of bees are not the same as humans, because they have a different role to play in the ecosystem. The five eyes of the bee help it to get the image of the world that is suitable for its work. The two sets of bee eyes have their own functions and together they provide an amazing view to a bee or a honey bee so they can see the flowers in an efficient way to collect nectar.

The two large compound eyes of a bee provide colors and details, and the lenses of the tiny ocelli eyes provide information about light and movement. They together create an outstanding vision for the bee which helps them in the navigation through the daylight using the sun as a navigator. Compound eyes can cover a wider angle and a wide range as compared to ocelli eyes. Ocelli eyes can provide very good information about movement, which is better than compound eyes.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 'How many eyes do bees have?' then why not take a look at 'How many legs do butterflies have?', or 'Honey bee facts'.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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