The worker bees are born from fertilized eggs laid by the queen bee in hexagonal cells. As soon as it is born, the worker bee is unable to perform many actions due to its initial physical conformation: small, hairy, whitish in color, it cannot stay very well in balance and above all it is not equipped with speed but not even with a defensive or offensive and therefore harmless as soon as it is born.
When the bee begins to acquire its color and confidence in its gait, it is ready to carry out its duties inside the hive. The tasks of worker bees are many and differ in the various moments of the bee’s life:
- The first task is to take care of the maintenance of the hive cells by cleaning them and coating them with propolis (a substance that covers the cells similar to lacquer).
- Subsequently, when it acquires more and more safety, it moves on to the task of nourishing and protecting the brood: initially the worker bees do not produce royal jelly then they take care of the nutrition of the older larvae that feed on honey, water and pollen. Then after the development of the royal jelly glands they move on to the nutrition of the smaller and royal larvae.
- The third task is to take care of the construction and repair of the cells, from the moment in which the ceriparic glands develop.
- The fourth task entrusted to the worker bees is that of receiving the nectar and pollen.
- The fifth and sixth tasks are that of the defense of the hive and the community and the collection of food.
However, a worker bee does not carry out a single job for each period of its life, but the tasks can change and vary according to the needs of the hive.
As for the flight and food search phase, adult bees can reach 20km / h and fly up to 12 km away from the hive. In fact, the bees first carry out small flights to acclimate themselves, then once they have reached the necessary safety, they fly independently, making many daily flights to understand the needs of the hive and satisfy them. A bee can visit up to 3000 flowers in one day. In addition, worker bees rest a lot inside the hive to then have more energy to perform various tasks.
The life of a worker bee varies according to the season in which it is born, if it is the active season in which you work a lot, its life is approximately 30-40 days, those born in autumn, on the other hand, live up to 6 months.
Finally, we can say that worker bees, in addition to carrying out all the tasks for which they are designated, also have the possibility of laying unfertilized eggs in the event that the family is orphaned by a queen. Only drones will be born, this is because they never mate.