Does it damage bees (or other insects) when they fly into windows?


I have quite a lot of flying insects coming to my balcony plants, and they routinely fly into the window because of the reflection (I assume). There seems to be no breaking involved, just flying into the window at full tilt. Afterwards the bees sometimes hover for a sec., like in a daze.

Does crashing into a window damage an insect or is the armour and antennae so sturdy that it’s not a problem?

In: Biology

Not really. Smaller living beings take less damage from falling or hitting something because they are light enough for the air to significantly reduce the impact momentum. The more mass an object has, the harder it is for the air to slow it down, which causes it to fall faster and hit the ground way harder. Most insects also have a pretty tough exoskeleton to protect them.

Except for extreme circumstances and very high speeds: no real damage. The reason for that is the relationship between size and weight.

Take a normal car and a RC toy car. If both hit a wall chances are that the normal car will be damaged, while the RC toy car will just work fine with mostly a scratch, if anything at all. Insects are actually so small that hitting something does not have the same impact (pun intended) compared to a far bigger object.


Most insects have a protective shell around them called an exoskeleton. Its like a full-body helmet. This helmet protects the insect up to a certain speed. Most insects can not fly/move faster than that speed so they are usually fine. However, if they were to hit a moving window, like in a car they would go “splat” since the window is moving towards them at a much faster speed than their exoskeleton can handle.