How Many Eyes Does a Bee Have?

Axel Naud/CC-BY-2.0

A bee has five eyes. It has two huge compound eyes and three simple eyes. The simple eyes are called ocelli. Each compound eye is made up 150 tiny structures called ommatidia. These structures let the bee see not only patterns but polarized light.

Each of the bee’s ommatidia has a lens, a transparent cone, precisely arranged visual cells that can detect light and pigment cells that differentiate each ommatidium from the other. The number of ommatidia in the bee’s eyes allows it to find different types of flowers, but the bee still can’t resolve objects at a distance as well as a human.