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Happy Pollinator Week!

In honor of Pollinator Week, we’re featuring our favorite pollinator, the industrious honey bee! While most people know a colony has one queen bee and a bunch of worker bees, did you know that each worker bee will have at least 5 different jobs throughout her lifespan? 

The youngest bees are the nurse bees, dedicated to keeping the inside of the hive clean and feeding the young larvae, over 1,300 times per day! Talk about hungry kids. 

They also tend to the queen bee's every need, feeding and bathing her while spreading her pheromones around the colony. These pheromones are the grease that keeps the wheels of the colony rolling in the right direction. Much like a day of summer break without Mom, without the queen, it’s chaos! 

Next, they graduate to builder bees, building beeswax combs to store honey and safely cocoon young bees. 

As house bees, they’ll transport nectar from forager bees into those beeswax combs, ensuring the hive stays spotless by dragging out any leaves or other debris outside the hive. 

Then they become guard bees, protecting the hive from intruders, including ants, spiders, and other bees, as well as skunks, pygmy shrews and bears, oh my!

The eldest worker bees are forager bees, who spend the full day zipping in and out of the hive, loading up on nectar and pollen and depositing their goods inside the hive. On hot days, they’ll bring in water to help cool the hive. Other days, they’ll bring in propolis – an antimicrobial tree resin – which house bees use to seal up any openings in their hive and provide a cleaning foot mat for incoming forager bees.

Want to learn more about honey bees? Subscribe to our twice monthly newsletter for news about bees and what’s happening at The Hive Taproom!

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