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Guards
Guarding the hive is the last task of a worker bee before venturing out to the fields. The guards inspect every bee that returns to the hive for a familiar scent. Only members of the hive are allowed to enter. Bees from other hives are occasionally allowed in when they bribe the guards with nectar. These "foreigners" steal some honey and pollen and leave. The guard bee also looks out for any crack through which a robber bee or intruder might enter the hive. These worker bees also defend their colony against other insects. When their stingers are used to attack the intruders, they tear their abdomen and die as a result. They also emit an alarm pheromone from a gland near their stingers to alert other bees on any impending danger.

Temperature Controllers
These worker bees control the temperature and humidity within the hive. In a hot weather, the temperature in the hive can get too high. These bees obtain water within a short distance from the hive and bring it back to spread on the backs of fanning bees. These bees ventilate the hive by fanning their wings, create airflow in the hive and bring down the temperature with evaporated water. When the weather turns cold, the bees congregate in a cluster to keep themselves warm

Undertakers
When the worker bees are a little older, they become in charge of removing dead bees and disposal of the corpses to a place as far from the hive as possible. Diseased or dead broods are also quickly removed by the undertakers before becoming a health threat to the colony.

Foragers
[bee's honey poster image] When they are about fourteen days old, the worker bees leave the nest at sunrise as foragers and visit the flowers four to five-kilometer radius from the hive in search of nectar, water, pollen and propolis. They can make about ten trips a day, each one lasting about an hour and return to their hive at sunset. At this final phase of life, at the age of 6 - 8 weeks, most worker bees will die in the field. During the winter, bees stop flying, hibernate in their hives and live on stored honey from fall to the next spring.

Worker Bees
Worker bees constitute the largest population in the colony and are all females. They are unable to produce fertilized eggs, however if there is no queen, they sometimes lay unfertilized eggs, which become male drones. Each worker bee, guided by a biological clock, assumes different responsibilities and performs specific job duties as she reaches a certain age. Below are the different jobs and roles of the worker bees.

Cleaners
Worker bees become cleaners of brood cells when they are only one or two days old. They are responsible for cleaning and polishing the empty cells that ready to receive new eggs and store nectar and pollen. The queen inspects the cells and if they are not clean, the cleaners will have to do it again.

The Bees

There are three types of bees: the queen, the workers, and the drones. In a hive, there can be hundreds of drones, thousands of workers, but usually just one queen. Each of the three types have there own specific duties which they perform.

The Queen

Life in the beehive depends upon one bee, the queen. Without the 1-2000 eggs she lays per day, the hive would fail. She begins her life as a normal, fertilized egg. However, 24 hours after that egg hatches, the workers begin to feed the queen-to-be a substance called royal jelly. This jelly makes the queen grow differently, and turn into a queen. Thus, 16 days after an egg is laid, a queen can hatch. Five to eight days after the queen hatches, she will go on her mating flight, where she will mate with up to 25 drones. Five to eight days after this, she is ready to begin her lifetime of laying.

This job does have its benefits. The queen is constantly surrounded by dozens of worker bees who are always grooming and feeding their queen. If everything goes perfectly, a queen can live up to 5 years. However, she is normally replaced after 1-2 years.

The Worker

Workers are all females, but are unable to lay eggs. Workers only live around 6 weeks in the summer because they literally work themselves to death. They can, however, live up to 6 months during the winter months.

Workers gather nectar and pollen, feed young larva, supply the hive with water, secrete beeswax, build comb, guard the beehive, and dozens of other tasks. The worker begins her life as an egg, then develops into a larva, the transforms into the final pupa stage. Then, 21 days after the egg is laid, the worker bee emerges from it’s enclosed cell and begins work.

During the summer months, the worker bees must travel 55,000 miles to gather enough nectar to produce just one pound of honey! Each worker will only produce about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey, and 1/80 of a teaspoon of wax in her entire lifetime. The entire colony however, in a good year, can produce up to 200lbs of honey.

The Drone

Drones are the only males in the beehive. Drones don’t work, they can’t feed themselves, and they have no stinger. Their only job is to mate with queens. They are larger than the workers, yet smaller than the queens. Often overlooked, drones are still vital to the survival of the honeybees. Without them, the queen would never be able to lay fertilized eggs.

Builders
Worker bees that are about 12 days old are mature enough to begin secreting and producing beeswax , the material for the construction of comb. The wax flakes they produce help with the building of new wax comb and in the capping of ripened honey and cells containing developing pupae. The bee must consume large amounts of food (honey and nectar) to produce these wax flakes. In 1999, Thomas Hales produced a 19-page mathematical proof that of all the possible structures such as rectangles, squares or triangles, honeycombs use the least amount of wax and are the most efficient and practical structures in nature . As Charles Darwin put it, the honeycomb is a masterpiece of engineering and is "absolutely perfect in economizing labor and wax."

Queen Bee
The queen is the only fertile female in the colony. It is the only member that is able to lay fertilized eggs. The queen bee continually emits pheromones (a bee perfume) that only the bees in the hive can smell. These pheromones keep the female workers sterile and also act as a signal to assure all the bees in the colony that the queen is alive and all is well in the hive. It is believed that this unique scent provides the colony a sense of identity and personality. The queen mates early in life, stores up millions of sperm within her body, and fertilizes her eggs as and when needed. She is capable of producing up to 2,000 eggs within a single day. To produce drones, she lays unfertilized eggs. A queen bee lives for 3- 5 years. However, when it falters in her egg-laying performance, the hive will start looking for a replacement and feed royal jelly to a developing larva.

Honeybees pollinate 80% of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the USA.
Bees must travel over 55,000 miles and visit 2 million flowers to produce 1 lb. of honey!
A honeybee can fly 15 mph.
It would take only 1 ounce of honey to fuel one bee’s flight around the world.
Cured honey will NEVER spoil.
One honeybee will only produce 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in its entire life.
Honeybees are the only insect that produces food for humans.
It takes 2 million flowers to make 1 pound of honey!
The queen bee can lay up to 2,000 eggs in1 day – that’s 132,000 annually!
One gallon of honey is enough to fuel a bee’s flight to the moon and back!
One ounce of honey could fuel a bee’s flight around the world.

Queen Bee
The queen is the only fertile female in the colony. It is the only member that is able to lay fertilized eggs. The queen bee continually emits pheromones (a bee perfume) that only the bees in the hive can smell. These pheromones keep the female workers sterile and also act as a signal to assure all the bees in the colony that the queen is alive and all is well in the hive. It is believed that this unique scent provides the colony a sense of identity and personality. The queen mates early in life, stores up millions of sperm within her body, and fertilizes her eggs as and when needed. She is capable of producing up to 2,000 eggs within a single day. To produce drones, she lays unfertilized eggs. A queen bee lives for 3- 5 years. However, when it falters in her egg-laying performance, the hive will start looking for a replacement and feed royal jelly to a developing larva.

Drones
A drone is hatched from an unfertilized egg. This process is also called arhenotokous parthenogenesis. Thus a drone has only one parent and a single set of genes, that means he has only one set of chromosomes from the mother. So, paradoxically, a drone has no father but a grandfather from his mother's side! Drones have neither stingers to help defend the hive nor the necessary body structure for collecting pollen or nectar to contribute and feed the community. They live for one sole reason - to mate with the queen bee. (Read account in: The Dramatic Sexual Suicide. When there is a lack of food during the winter season, they can be prevented from entering the hives by the worker bees and as a result, die of starvation.

Nurses
Brood care bees assume the role of incubating and caring for the developing larvae. It is said that on average, nurse bees check a single larva over a thousand times a day. Worker bees also take nectar and pollen and deposit into them cells as food for the colony. They feed pure royal jelly, a milky concentration secreted from the food glands in their heads, to the queen larva, and a mixture of pollen, honey and jelly to the worker and drone larvae. According to a study by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in Halle, Germany, when a hive is infected with a parasite, the nurse bees selectively eat honey that has a high antibiotic activity and distribute it to other members of the colony. As the hive's medical specialists, they prescribe different types of honey as medicine to other bees depending on their infection (BBC Earth, Oct 2014).