Bees – Lectures by Rudolf Steiner - The sensory system of a bee
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Bees – Lectures by Rudolf Steiner
November 26th 1923
Now we need to ask ourselves how the bee finds its way to the blossoms. It makes its way to these blossoms with utter confidence. This is hard to understand, if you look at the bee's eyes. The worker - the drones have somewhat larger eyes - has two little eyes on each side and three very small ones in its forehead. If you examine the workers' eyes, you will come to the conclusion that they can see very little, and the three tiny eyes, at least at first, seem to be able to see nothing at all.
This is what is so strange: The bee does not approach a blossom by means of sight, but by means of something closer to smelling it. It moves in the direction of the scent, which directs it toward the blossom. What leads the bee to the blossom is a certain sensing ability situated midway between smell and taste. The worker bee already "tastes" the nectar and pollen as it flies toward the blossom. Even from a distance it can taste it. That has brought the bee into a situation where it does not use its eyes.