How Many Lenses are in a Honey Bee Eye?

Description and Anatomy of Honey Bee Eye Lenses

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Honey bee eyes have three distinct eye lenses, arranged in a dorso-lateral view. The lens is elongated downward and positioned posteriorly, simulating the pitching motion of a bee’s head. This structure is also seen in a frontal view.

Function of honey bee eye lenses

The honey bee’s compound eyes are made up of thousands of lenses or facets, which help the bee to detect movement. The images that are collected by the eyes are then combined in the brain to form a single image. This is similar to the way our television screens make us see the world. The lens of a honeybee’s eye is made up of photoreceptor cells, support cells, and pigment cells. This combination of cells makes the bee’s vision polarized, which allows it to navigate faster and protect itself from bright, harsh daylight.

Bees have three types of lenses in their eyes: a pair of large compound eyes and three smaller lens eyes. The ommatidia are like pixels in an image, with each pixel serving a particular function. The more ommatidia in the eye, the higher the resolution and sensitivity. Each pixel has its own optical apparatus, so the resolution and sensitivity of individual lenses may vary considerably within the eye.

The ocelli in honey bees are dimorphic in size. The ocelli of a male bee are larger than those of a worker bee. It is unclear whether they compete with the compound eyes in honeybee drones, but they are similar in size. In addition, some bee species can only be active in low light. In addition, some bees have larger ocelli than their worker and queen counterparts.

Honey bees have three pairs of eyes, or ocelli. The function of these eyes is not yet known, but researchers believe that they aid the bee in navigation and flight stabilization. They also have a pair of retinas, which process light and send it to the brain via the optic nerve.


The size of honey bee eye lenses depends on the species. The workers have five-hundred-plus lens in each eye, while the drones have around 10,000. Honey bees need good eyesight to locate the queen, so they need large lenses for better vision. These lenses are naturally larger than human eye lenses.

The lens diameter and sensitivity in honey bee eyes vary from species to species. A study showed that sex affects the visual field and size of the eye. In queens and workers, eye size positively correlated with body size. In workers, the eyes are larger and contain more ommatidia and fewer facets than in queens and drones. In drones, however, the eye size was not related to body size.

The compound eyes of honey bees are larger than those of other bee species. They have double the number of ommatidia and a lateral extension of 2.5 mm, compared to one mm in females. Other honeybee species exhibit similar differences in eye size, and their size is determined by sex.

Honey bees possess complex vision, with a wide range of specialized eyes. Their apposition compound eyes are specialized for object detection in bright daylight, and are less useful for orientation at night. The ocelli’s dorsal and ventral retinas process light and send information to the brain. These retinas are usually located in central regions of the eye. If the eye is unable to discern this information, the bee cannot perceive objects.

Ocelli are sexually dimorphic. They compete with compound eyes in honeybees to see objects. In giant honeybees, ocelli are larger than those of workers. In stingless bees, ocelli are similarly large in workers and drones.


The honey bee eye is capable of detecting light and producing images at different distances. The honey bee lens is divided into two parts, the lateral ocellus and the median ocellus. These two parts are located at different distances from the back of the lens. They have different sensitivity and resolution, which are influenced by the size of ommatidia and facets.

During flight, the median ocellus is viewed from the front of the head. A simulation shows this view. When the head is at its normal position, only the dorsal retina is visible through the lens aperture. As the head tilts forward by 90 deg, the ventral retina is revealed.

The lateral ocelli of honey bees are asymmetrical, reflecting the division of the lateral ocellar retina. The lateral and median ocellus have a retinal layer on their elongated sides, while the median ocellus has a retinal layer located near the midline of the brain. The ocelli are more sensitive than the compound eyes.

The compound eyes of bees have two different types of photoreceptors: the ocelli in orchid bees and those of honeybees. Both types of lenses are able to detect light at different wavelengths. As a result, honey bees have different levels of sensitivity and contrast.

The rhabdoms of honey bees are long, narrow and contain many photoreceptors. The lenses are composed of 6,900 facets with each having its own photosensitive cells. These facets are divided into groups and are specialized for specific skills.

Refractive indices

Refractive indices of honey be bee eye lenses were measured by using optical data and tomographic data. These data were interpreted by performing calculations. The values are mean + SD for replicates. In the following, we discuss the results from our studies.

The measurements are highly accurate. Using the latest technology, scientists are able to detect minute changes in the refractive index. This data can help us to personalise intraocular implants and monitor the health of patients. This research also highlights the potential for identifying the causes of a faulty lens.

Although it is difficult to determine the exact Dph of honey bee eye lenses, the findings are still useful for assessing the optical properties of the insect’s eyes. In addition, honeybee eyes are darkly pigmented, so measuring their optical acuity has not been an easy task. Because of the dark pigmentation and the oval shape of the insect’s eye, measuring the Dph of honey bee eye lenses is complicated and results differ from study to study.

X-ray talbot interferometry can be used to determine the refractive index of human lens. However, individual variations in the human lens can mask age-related changes, as well as other factors. This variation may be due to biometric differences of the eye or disease states.

Another study examined the ocelli of honeybees. These tiny lenses contain around 6,900 individual facets, each with its own photosensitive cells. The facets are divided into different groups specialized for certain skills.

Field of vision

The field of vision of honeybee eye lenses is different from ours. It is under-focused relative to the retina, with its focal planes located about 100 mm away from the retina. Its lens is elongated downward and positioned posteriorly, which mimics the pitching motion of the bee. A 3-D reconstruction of a honeybee’s eye lens shows the different retinal levels, as well as the orientation of the lateral ocellus.

The field of vision of honey bee eye lenses is better than previously believed. This new understanding could lead to new insights into bee behaviour. It may also provide valuable information about robot vision. Honey bees are commonly known as European and western honey bees. Postdoctoral researcher Dr Elisa Rigosi and her research team conducted experiments on bees’ eyes. The researchers at Lund University of Adelaide collaborated to carry out the studies. The results were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The field of vision of honey bee eye lenses varies from one species to another. While the focal planes of the compound eyes are similar in shape and structure, the angles between the individual lenses are not as wide. This difference is due to the fact that the bees’ world is very small and intimate and they do not require clear vision of great distances. Instead, their lenses can resolve the fine details of objects, distinguish landmarks, and detect movement.

Although the visual fields of honeybee eye lenses are not directly measured, the structure of the lens’ inner surface reflects the division of the retina into two regions. The lateral ocellus contains a dorsal retina, which corresponds to the elongated side of the lens’ inner surface. The median ocellus contains two types of photoreceptors – one that is close to the midline of the brain, and one that is located on the outer side of the lens.

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