Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Speedy Bee Vision

The early bird gets the worm could be changed to the quick bee gets the pollen. Recent research has discovered that the photoreceptors in bees' eyes can detect black and white images about 4-5x faster than humans. They can see color 3-4x faster than humans. 

What good is visual speed? Scientists believe vision is important in bees' ability to find flowers and pollen. The high-speed vision might help bees keep track of color in flickering light (e.g., when flying quickly through bushes).

"The scene for the bee would be flickering with different amounts of light and shade, and the color view is potentially changing, from a flower reflecting more light to less light," said study author Peter Skorupski, a researcher at Queen Mary, University of London, in England. Fast color vision could help bees accurately perceive color during flight.

So the next time you bend to sniff a flower and encounter a bee, realize he probably saw you first. Relax and let him go about his pollen collecting business. Go science!

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