A new study out of the University of London is shedding new light on how fast bees see, and the conclusion is ... really fast.

Actually, bees see color vision at a rate about five times that of humans. In particular, the bumblebee has the fastest color vision of any animal on earth. Such crazy vision for fast-flying insects has been known for quite some time — but researchers weren't sure if a bee's vision could necessarily keep up with its high speed.

"We can't easily follow a fast flying insect by eye, but they can follow each other, thanks to their very fast vision," researcher Dr. Peter Skorupski told e! Science News. "How fast you can see depends on how quickly the light-detecting cells in your eye can capture snapshots of the world and send them to your brain. Most flying insects can see much quicker than humans, for example so they can avoid getting swatted!"

According to the article, bees make good use of their super vision; navigating dappled light and shady areas, recognizing shapes like their hive entrance, and particularly for finding nectar-bearing coloured flowers. It's also handy for avoiding predators and catching mates mid-flight.

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via e! science news

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.