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Worker Bee

The life of a bee is one of the most interesting aspects of beekeeping to me. There are three kinds of bees, the Worker Bee, the Drone Bee and the Queen Bee.

The Worker Bee

The Queen lays an egg in the Brood Nest. It has a 21 day gestation period before the bee emerges. For the next 18 days, the little girl is charged with basic housekeeping chores. She cleans the Brood Nest, attends to the queen’s needs, builds more comb (for honey and brood), nurses bee larva, packs pollen and ripens nectar into honey. During this time, she will occasionally join her (similarly aged) brethren in a Training Flight outside of the box as she attempts to get oriented with her home (so she can find her way back when she eventually goes out into the field to collect nectar and pollen.)

Around Day 19 of her life, she moves to the landing board and heads off in search of nectar (typically nearby for the first few flights, as she becomes more accustomed to the area.) So, it is not until 40 days after the egg is laid that the Worker Bee actually begins to fly out of the home to collect the bread and butter of the hive.

This is an important consideration when you begin to think about helping the bees ramp up for the main nectar flow of an area. They need to have already laid the eggs and nursed the larva well in advance of the main flow if they are going to take advantage of it.

Fertilized egg for3 Days
Larvae for 5.5 Days
Pupae for 12.5 Days
Housekeeper for 21 Days
Spends much of the rest of her life as a forager

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