The worker is a female bee without the full reproductive capacity. It hatches out of the fertilized egg and it takes 21 days from the moment eggs are laid to the moment they hatch. It performs all the work in the bee colony: feed the brood, collects nectar, pollen, propolis (bee-glue), builds honeycomb, maintains temperature and humidity in the beehive, keeps it clean, protects the beehive from intruders, feeds and care for the queen bee, produces honey, royal jelly, etc.
The number of workers in the bee colony varies and depends on the bee species, the season, the queen bee fertility and other circumstances. The length of the worker life cycle also varies and depends most of all on the season. It can last from several weeks to six months.
Workers perform all their tasks in the colony depending on their age:
* 3-5 days old bees clean the honeycomb and other parts of the beehive
* 5-8 days old feed older larvae
* 8-12 day old develop royal jelly glands that secrete royal jelly with which they feed young larvae and the queen bee, and after 12 days they develop glands which secrete beeswax
* At the age of 18-21 days workers approach the lath – the beehive door, and fly out a little getting to know the surroundings, ready to protect their colony from enemies – intruders. In fact, during their development in the beehive, the gland that secretes poison has produced enough poison in the poison bubble so that their sting becomes very painful.
* When bees get to know the surroundings they commence with their flights in the nature and according to that, we call them worker bees. They collect food at a distance of up to 1-2 km from the beehive, and in case there are no suitable plants there, they fly further away, as far as 3-4 km from the beehive, and, if necessary, even more. The flights as far as 15 km have been recorded, with successful return to the beehive. These flights last until the death of the worker bee, which depends on their exhaustion. Its life cycle most often lasts from 30 to 45 days.