Spatial vision and visually guided behavior in apidae

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The family Apidae, which is amongst the largest bee families, are important pollinators globally and have been well studied for their visual adaptations and visually guided behaviors. This review is a synthesis of what is known about their eyes and visual capabilities. There are many species-specific differences, however, the relationship between body size, eye size, resolution, and sensitivity shows common patterns. Salient differences between castes and sexes are evident in important visually guided behaviors such as nest defense and mate search. We highlight that Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris are popular bee models employed in the majority of studies that have contributed immensely to our understanding vision in bees. However, other species, specifically the tropical and many non-social Apidae, merit further investigation for a better understanding of the influence of ecological conditions on the evolution of bee vision.


External organisations
  • Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Ecology


  • Carpenter bees, Foraging, Honeybees, Mating, Social bees, Solitary bees, Stingless bees, Visual ecology
Original languageEnglish
Article number418
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1
Publication categoryResearch