When adding a frame or two of brood and nurse bees to a weak hive coming out of winter, we generally also add a syrup source for feed. How long does it take for the nurse bees to graduate to foragers to where they can go out to gather their own nectar resources to support the hive and I can discontinue the feeding of syrup?
Workers become foragers about 21 days about after hatching. Depending on need, it can happen sooner or later. If the hive is that weak, you will want to keep feeding until the hive gets quite a bit stronger.
Any worker can get recruited at any time to do anything. It depends on the needs of the colony and what is available. In a normal distribution of bees that would be when they are about 21. In a colony that has no current need for nurse bees, that will be immediately.
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