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Why worker-bees die a short life: and why we don't get it

Updated on January 8, 2012

Too much work, for too long, will kill you, surely


Worker bees work, all the time, then die

Worker bees live an honorable life. They work. They live productive lives, and then die early.

There is honor is performing great work. What is great work? I say that it is any work that allows you to make an honest living, an honorable live (where you are committing no crimes). And hopefully it is work that gives you some measure of Joy. My expectation, that is, job expectations, especially where it concerns "finding Joy in the work," may be a bit too high. It may not be easy to find a job that gives you joy, and provides a decent living at the same time.

Worker bees are the "work horses" of the colony, and are essential for the survival of the bee hive. These developmentally immature female bees do all the work of the hive. The queen bee, the only completely, developmentally mature female in a hive, lays the eggs that will develop into more bees. She, the queen, is the only egg layer in the hive. Worker bees, the other females, being developmentally immature, can not lay eggs. They exist only to do the hard work of the colony. The males, called drones, exist only for the fertilization of eggs that come from the queen. Otherwise, they are worthless, and they are treated as worthless, when winter time comes and they are discarded, or discharged from the hive to die.

The only point to made from this story about worker bees is "being a worker bee in an honorable and most essential role in the bee colony," the same as being a drone, the male that fertilizes the eggs. However, only the queen's life is the most essential. All three types of bees are essential for the survival of a colony, but the queen rules. She appears to be the most important. Depending on how you look at life, maybe the worker bee is the most important after all, since she gathers all the food, does all the work of the hive, and last but not least, she defends the hive with her painful stings. "No greater love than this, that the worker bee gives up her life for her hive." When she stings her intruder, or enemy, she loses her stinger and essential associated anatomy and dies. A bee sting can kill you, maybe, if you are allergic to the sting, or toxin, but she, the worker bee, always dies.

Making the choice to be a worker bee, is a big decision, but actual worker bees, in Nature, have no choices.

I am not a bee keeper and therefore I do not completely understand the nature of bees or the science of bee keeping. I mentioned the three types of bees living in the hive, the queen, the worker bee and the drone. I do not know the science of how the number of queens are limited in a colony, how worker bees are produced, how drones are produced and etc. There is a good deal of science involved in bee keeping and I plan to study it in the future.


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    • Dr. Haddox profile image

      Dr Freddie Haddox 6 years ago from a Franklin, Tennessee native, who travels globally.

      Very wonderful, comment. You write very creatively, and very colorful-ly. Thank you for following my work.

      Dr. Haddox

    • Jerry Hulse profile image

      Jerry W Hulse 6 years ago from Kingsport, Tennessee

      Good, and when one finds a food source, he will return and do a beautiful dance telling others how and where to fly to find it.

    • Dr. Haddox profile image

      Dr Freddie Haddox 6 years ago from a Franklin, Tennessee native, who travels globally.

      Hello raincity,

      Thank you for your support and comment. A friend of mine has just commented at my Facebook site, on the Queen, and how she is produced by "the creative work of the worker bees." Please do try to see her comment on how the queen is created at my Facebook site. It is a most remarkable thing, the making of the Queen bee, by the worker bees. Dr. Haddox

    • raincity profile image

      raincity 6 years ago

      Very interesting and educational, I had no idea!

    • Dr. Haddox profile image

      Dr Freddie Haddox 6 years ago from a Franklin, Tennessee native, who travels globally.

      Hello SherryHewins,

      Thank you for your very wise and insightful observation. You are so very correct, of course. All three are equally essential to the hive, just as you say. Nature designs these things to work correctly, as Nature would have it. I am very pleased with you post and your wonderful comment.

      Dr. Haddox

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 6 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      It seems to me that queen, worker and drone are all equally essential to the hive, and all equally resigned to their fate. Spending your whole life laying eggs is probably no less demanding than being a worker bee. And while not much is expected from the drone, as you said, once his duty is performed he is expendable.

    • profile image

      J. R. Stroud 6 years ago

      Freddie your articles are great. You do an excellent job relating to other people.