The Bees’ Sixth Sense

I write a beekeeping and society blog called “Bad Beekeeping” and I posted this piece there a few weeks ago. I thought readers of Mountain Mystery might find it interesting.

Bad Beekeeping Blog

bee's eye close-up

Bees sense the environment differently than humans. For example,  bees can see ultra-violet colour and distinguish it from violet and white, yet they see red as if it were black. They sense the orientation of polarized light. Their massive compound eyes give them an image made of hexagonal images, similar (but not quite) to the picture I made below, to the right. The honey bee’s eyes are good at sensing thin structures (like flowers on stems) and motion but, for a bee, a person pressed flat against a wall has disappeared from sight.

Bees see in mosaic hexagons, similar (but not quite the same) to what you is shown here.Bees see mosaic hexagons, similar (but not quite the same) to what’s shown here.

Bees taste with the tips of their antennae, sampling sweet, bitter, sour, and salt. They can taste salts better than humans can, but are less sensitive to the bitter flavour of coffee. Their antennae also give them a sense of touch which monitors bee…

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About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a bee ecologist working at the University of Calgary. He is also a geophysicist and does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and Earth scientist. (Ask him about seismic waves.) He's based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
This entry was posted in How Geophysics Works, Reblogs. Bookmark the permalink.

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