Q. 184.4( 5 Votes )
Explain the role of workers in a bee colony.
Worker - Worker is diploid, sterile female. Its size is smallest among the caste of bees. They are the active members of the colony. For various outdoor and indoor chores, the workers are provided with a variety of organs such as hypo pharyngeal glands (for secretion of bee milk), wax glands (for building cells of comb), pollen baskets on their hind legs (for collection of pollen), sucking type mouthparts (for collecting the nectar), high level secretion of invertase enzyme (in the honey sac for honey formation), a sting at the tip of the abdomen (for defence of the colony.
The worker bees of a hive fall under 3 groups. These are:
(i) Scavenger Bees - For the first three days each worker bees act as a scavenger.
(ii) Nurse Bees - From the fourth day onwards each worker bee feeds the entire brood, like a foster mother, with a mixture of honey and pollen. By seventh day, its starts producing royal jelly, which is fed to the queen and future queen bees. They also perform guard duties.
(iii) Foraging or Field bees - They explore new sources of nectar. They collect nectar, pollen and propolis. Nectar is changed into honey in the crops and collected in bee hive.
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