Zoology or Animal Biology
Wasps and Hornets

What is the life cycle of the worker bee?

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Answered 2009-02-02 10:24:55

40 Days Honey bees have four stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa and adult. About three days after the queen lays the egg in a brood cell it hatches into the larva, which is then fed by the nurse bees for about six days. After this the lava pupates and the bees cap the cell with wax. The pupal stage lasts 11 or 12 days, after which the adult will break through the wax cap and emerge from the cell.

An adult bees tasks change as it grows older: * Day 1 and 2: She will be concerned with cleaning cells as they become empty. * Day 3 to 11: She will become a nurse bee and will feed the larvae * Day 12 to 17: Her wax glands will have developed and she will produce wax and build and repair cells. At this stage she will also store nectar and pollen brought in by other workers. Other hive tasks include feeding the queen and drones, packing pollen into cells, and fanning the hive by beating their wings to circulate air and control the temperature. * Day 18 to 21: She will become a guard bee and will protect the hive entrance from enemies. * From day 22: She will become a forager and will go out to collect nectar and pollen or a resinous substance called propolis which is used to cover the walls of the hive. During the summer, a worker bee will live for four to six weeks. In colder climates, in the winter a worker bee will rarely leave the hive and can live for several months.

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