Have you ever wondered
what the world would look like if you were an insect? In your everyday life,
you use your five senses (taste, touch, hearing, smell and sight) to learn
about the world around you. An insect’s body works differently from yours and
that changes the way they learn about the world around them.
|Front view of a proboscis |
Taste: A bee’s sense
of taste depends on receptors in her antennae. She can tell the difference
between bitter, sweet, salty, and sour. If she likes the taste, she will extend
her proboscis and begin to feed.
Touch: A bee’s sense
of touch is similar to a human. They often use their antennae to measure cells
and also touch each other during bee dances.
Hearing: Although most
insects do not have ears to hear, they are able to “hear” sound around them
because of the vibrations in the air. A bee is covered in very sensitive hairs
which alert her to vibrations in the air. Worker bees can “hear” a scout bee buzzing
as she tells them where food can be found.
|A honey bee releasing pheromones to guide other bees home|
Smell: Honeybees use
chemical smells called pheromones to communicate with each other and identify
bees that belong in their hive. A honeybee does not have a nose; instead, she
uses special receptors in her antenna to decipher what pheromones are around
Sight: Unlike humans,
have compound eyes with thousands of individual light receptors. This
means that instead of seeing the world as one picture, bees see many individual
dots of color placed together. It is similar to the way a television screen
projects a picture. A honeybee’s compound eyes also see a different color range
than humans, making it difficult to see red but allowing them to see
ultraviolet light. A honeybee also has three additional simple eyes located on
the top of her head. A bee cannot use these simple eyes, called ocelli, to see
color. They can only see the difference between dark and light with these eyes
which helps bees navigate.
|Comparison of human and bee visible light|
Bees are amazing insects with very intricate bodies. They perceive the world differently than we do and use their senses to keep their hive happy and healthy.