How Many Eyes Does A Bee Have?

May Is UV Awareness Month
May 2, 2019
June is Cataract Awareness Month
May 31, 2019

We are all about eyes at Bella Eye Care Optometry. Eyes fascinate us. While we only work with humans, our curiosity extends to the entire animal kingdom. Did you know that bees have five eyes? The two big eyes on a bee are called compound eyes because they are made up of thousands of tiny lenses. Those eyes detect movement. In fact, bees eyes can detect movement a quickly as 1/300th of a second while human eyes can detect movement separated by a comparable lowly 1/50th of a second. The three ocelli are simple eyes that discern light intensity  Bee eyes also don’t see the same colors we do. They can see ultraviolet light, but we can’t.

We are not sure how we would make a pair of eyeglasses for a bee that needed them but we love bees, regardless of how well they see. It is estimated that one-third of the food that we consume each day relies on pollination mainly by bees, but also by other insects, birds, and bats. Many domestic and imported fruits and vegetables require pollination. Examples include avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash, and sunflowers for oil, cucumbers, citrus fruit, peaches, kiwis, cherries, cranberries, and melons. For crops such as blueberries and almonds, the honey bee plays an essential role in the pollination of commercial crops,  with around 80% of the US crop said to be dependent on honey bees. Honey bees can also pollinate clover and alfalfa, which are fed to cattle, so there are implications for the meat and dairy industry too. And that is not to mention the huge range of manufactured food products made from all these ingredients.

So next time you see a bee, remember he or she sees you with 5 eyes instead of 2.