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How Many Eyes Do Bees Have?

Written By Sara Sabharwal


How Many Eyes Do Bees Have

We all know bees play an important role in pollinating plants and hopefully, you have even planted up a pollinator garden to help feed the bees. The more we see and interact with bees, the more curious we become about them. So, how many eyes do bees have? What do they look like?

Bees have 5 eyes. Two of the eyes are the bee’s true eyes. These are oval-shaped and located on the side of the head. The true eyes are made to see patterns and shapes. The three other eyes are simple eyes. These eyes can only sense light and are found on the top of the bee’s head. 

Do Bees Have 100 Eyes?

No, bees do not have 100 eyes. While bees technically have 5 eyes, only 2 can truly see. The other 3 eyes are considered simple eyes and can only detect light.

This allows the bee to always know where the sun is. Another perk of the bee’s simple eyes is that they allow the bee to sense if a predator is coming from above as the predator will block the light from the sun giving bees an instant warning.

What Do Bees’ Eyes Look Like?

Bees have unique eyes. The two true eyes sit on either side of the bee’s face. These eyes are large and oval-shaped.

The true eyes of the bee are made up of multiple tiny lenses. This set-up of many lenses is called a compound eye. Bees use their compound eyes to help identify patterns like plants and flowers. 

Other Facts about Bee’s Eyes

Bee’s eyes are incredibly unique and interesting. It seems that almost every part of the bee has a proper function and helps the bee in many ways.

For example, bees have 3 sets of legs, and each leg offers the bee a different approach to gathering pollen.

The front legs have comb-like structures that help take the pollen off the bee’s antennae. The middle legs have comb-like structures that help clear pollen from the fuzzy body of the bee. Lastly, the back legs of the bee have pollen sacs and anatomical mechanisms that help gather the pollen and place them into the pollen sacs. 

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When it comes to bees, even their eyes have special functions. While a bee has two true eyes and three simple eyes that detect light, there are plenty of things about a bee’s eyes that are interesting:

  1. Bees have Furry Eyeballs
    The two true eyes of a bee are covered in hair. Scientists are not entirely sure why their eyes are designed like this but think it may have something to do with navigating in winds. These hairs will also pick up pollen!
  2. Bees Can Only See a Small Range of Colours
    It is common knowledge that when planting a bee garden it is important to use lots of purple and blue plants. These are the bee’s favourite flowers, mainly because they can see them. Bees can see purple, blue, and violet. This is why lavender and wisteria are hailed as such a popular plants for bees.
  3. Bees Use the Sun to Navigate
    This is why their simple eyes are so important. The three eyes on top of their heads allow for the bees to always know where the sun is, even on cloudy days.
  4. Bees Can See Ultraviolet Light
    Flowers emit ultraviolet light and bees can use that to find flowers and other plants when looking for food, pollen, and nectar. 
  5. Nothing Gets Past a Bee
    In fact, they can see things move in 1/300th of a second. In terms of humans, we can only see things in 1/50th of a second. This means that a bee can see things roughly 6 times faster than we can.

Another fun fact about bees is that they use dances to communicate with other bees. If a bee wants to tell others that they have found food, it will move in circles in both directions doing a little happy bee dance.

If the food is further away, bees will do a different type of dance in which they fly around in different directions to tell other bees where the food is located based on the sun. 

Why Do Bees Have 5 Eyes?

Bees have 5 eyes so that they can easily detect colours from flowers whilst also being able to fly around constantly. The 5 eyes allow them to see far and wide.

How Many Eyes Does a Bumble Bee Have?

Bumble bees have the same number of eyes as all other bee species. Bumble bees have 5 eyes and, like other bees, 2 of these are true eyes and the other 3 are simple eyes.


Bees are interesting and important creatures that are responsible for upholding the entire earth’s ecosystem. Without bees, over 70% of food crops would not get pollinated. When we look closer at bees, we can begin to appreciate and understand them on a greater level.

Bees have anatomy that allows them to be efficient and quick when it comes to pollinating and producing honey. This is because bees have a short lifespan and a lot of things to do during their time alive.

Even bee’s eyes are evolutionarily designed to help bees function better. With 2 true eyes and 3 simple eyes that can only sense light, bees always know where to go, where the sun is, and if predators are approaching. 

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