honey bee on the verge of retirement?
My nest question is more in regards to behavior than species. This is a picture I took in my backyard in Eugene, Oregon of what I assume is just your garden-variety honey-bee. They’re crazy for all the lavender we have and, though we have a bee-sting sensitive daughter, we’re happy to have them as only the ornery wasps on our porch have ever stung her.. But I digress.. If you notice, this bees wings look positively torn up and ragged and she was flying around a bit more sluggishly than the rest. Do the worker honeybees literally just gather nectar and pollen until their wings fall apart or do they die of old age before that? Seems like kind of a drag to be a bee whose wings have crapped out. You’d think they’d get a nice cushy retirement in the hive or something.. These girls need to unionize..
According to Ross E. Koning’s amusing Biology of the Honeybee site: Worker Bees live “20-40 days summer (worked to death) 140 days winter “. All that gathering does take its toll.