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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Novato, CA
    Posts
    554

    Default How to tell nurse bee from foragers

    Newbie question for you all. I'm reading blogs etc. trying to learn and came up with the question in the subject line.

    How does one tell a nurse bee from a forager bee? Is there a physical difference or a behavioral?

    thank you! K

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    collbran, co
    Posts
    546

    Default Re: How to tell nurse bee from foragers

    well young bees have lots of fuzzy hair on there thorax.also they stay on the frames near the brood nest.when your observing the frames with brood or eggs they will be inspecting them maybe even sticking there head in inspecting the cells with larva in them..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,341

    Default Re: How to tell nurse bee from foragers

    Nurse bees are bees you shake off of open brood combs. You don't need to tell the difference, but they are fuzzier.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: How to tell nurse bee from foragers

    at this time of the season, foragers are usually the dead ones outside the hive and nurse bees are they ones carrying them out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,212

    Default Re: How to tell nurse bee from foragers

    I will postulate that there is no absolute way to tell a nurse bee from other occupations except if you observe a nurse bee feeding and caring for larvae.

    You can differentiate field workers by their worn wings, less pilosity, and general look of wear and tear. Even then, under some situations a field bee will revert to nurse bee duties.

    DarJones
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,472

    Default Re: How to tell nurse bee from foragers

    I always look for the little white cap on their heads.
    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,648

    Default Re: How to tell nurse bee from foragers


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    407

    Default Re: How to tell nurse bee from foragers

    Look for full udders

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: How to tell nurse bee from foragers

    Quote Originally Posted by AramF View Post
    at this time of the season, foragers are usually the dead ones outside the hive and nurse bees are they ones carrying them out.
    Excellent observation!
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

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