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Points to ponder... How does a bee "see" inside a dark hive so that she can find the proper cell in which to store nectar, pollen? Do their eyes respond to a different wavelenght than our own eyes. Are there other sense organs involved? When a queen lays an egg how do nurse bees find that cell and how do they keep track of larvae, their care and feeding?
Has anyone done any studies on this?
 

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I have wondered about this as well.
We open our hives and pull out frames to examine in bright light and sunlight. This must be a real shock to them- no wonder the queen tries to scurry away!

It's very easy to forget that our bees do all their housekeeping, building, storing, grooming, and brood raising in utter blackness.
 

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Basicly it comes down to "smell" and "feel" watch the queen as she walks around the comb she will stop a smell then if she likes what she smells she will stick her head in for a better check and measuer the cell then if all is well she will lay an egg. same thing goes for workers.
 

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Their antennae are covered with specialized cells called chemoreceptors (there are other sensory cells on the antennae as well). Chemoreceptors detect chemicals and provide, most basically, for a sense of smell.

If you observe bees carefully, they probe cells with both their feet for tactile reception and then their antennae for chemical detection. Antennal chemoreceptors are also likely the reason why you see queen attendants always facing toward the queen (in a circle) - they are most likely orienting their 'noses' (that is, antenna) toward the source of pheromones (the queen) in order to keep track of her in the hive.
 

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Bees have 5 eyes. They have the two large eyes on the sides of their head, which they use to see in daylight conditions. They also have 3 eyes on their foreheads (tiny bumps) which they use to see inside the dark hive.
 

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Along this same line. How do the bees know when the days lenghten and shorten. The queen starts laying sometime after the winter solstice. The hives are buried in snow or wrapped. It must be near total darkness inside that hive. Some how the workers know the time has come to get her laying again, and start feeding her more and she starts laying again.
Dave
 

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how/why does a bear hibernate & know when to?
How do salmon know where they were spanned & return there?
Why do trees lose their leaves in fall, even tho it's 90 degrees?
Why do hundreds of thousands of herd animals in africa (zebra & Wildebeest) migrate thousands of miles - and know where they're going?
How do monarch butterflies travel 10,000 miles?

We're either 'too smart' to figure it out or haven't been around long enough to 'feel' it - the best we can do is hypothesize, guess and apply our deductive reasoning & science:cool:

any guess is good, but most likely wrong.
 

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Since we use our eyes as a major navigation aid we assume bees must also. They use scent the way we use eyes. They can see ultra-violet, infra-red and something called polarized light which they use to orient themselves on an overcast day. If you work without gloves you will once-in-a while feel one buzz you in a way that clearly says, "Watch it buddy!" Somewhere in those antennae are sensors that pick up vibrations. Ditto feet. I even think there is a sort of floating bone in some legs that aids in this. This is far from answering the question but it's all I got.

dickm
 

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It sticks in my mind that bees use a lot of the blue spectrum of light. In springtime the level of blue light is higher, and red light is lower - and later in the summer blue light is less, and red light is more. Young seedling plants only use blue light, but mature plants use red light. The increased blue light promotes growth in the spring for plants. I suspect bees may be able to recognize different levels of blue light too.
 

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Well, I’ll probably get admonished for :eek:t: but I just wanted to say Beesource is such a great site and the contributors are a super, helpful, intelligent bunch.
I’ve only been on this site a few months and my bee knowledge has tripled from discussions as above.
Thanks Beesource and beesorcerers,
:applause:
Mark
bonterra bees
 
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