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Explain the role of workers in a bee colony.

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Explain the role of workers in a bee colony.

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Role of workers in a bee colony:

Workers are diploid, sterile females. They are the most active members of the colony and have most of the responsibilities on their shoulders. They perform different indoor and outdoor activities with their various organs such as hypopharyngeal glands, wax glands, pollen baskets, sucking-type mouth parts, higher invertase enzyme secretion, and a sting at the tip of the abdomen.

They live for 3-12 months. During the first half of their life, they perform indoor functions as scavengers, nurse bees and guard bees. During the next half, they perform outdoor activities as scout and forager bees.

Depending upon the nature of work and age, the worker bees are divided into three groups:

(i) Scavenger bees: They clean the walls and floor of empty cells of the colony for reuse during the first three days.

(ii) Nurse bees: They work like a foster mother, by feeding the entire brood from the fourth day. They also guard the colony from intruders.

(iii) Foraging bees: These collect nectar, pollen, and propolis in their crops, where they are converted into honey.

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