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Nurse Bees on Duty

Nurse bees are usually about a week old (age after they emerge from their cells). Their job during this stage of their life is to feed larvae. For the first three days of a bee’s larvae stage, it is fed with royal jelly by nurse bees. Once a larvae is three days old, the nurse bees will feed it with a mixture of royal jelly, nectar, and pollen, until the cell is capped. In the pictures below, we can clearly see the difference in size of the worker and drone cells. We can see that when the nurse bee is attending a worker larva, she barely fits inside the cell. But when she is feeding a drone larva, she is almost completely inside the cell, since drone cells are much bigger and wider than worker cells.

nurse bees feeding worker larvaenurse bees feeding drone larvae