Worker insects are those within social insect colonies (bees, ants, wasps and termites) that are not capable of reproducing.
These workers perform most of the tasks within the colony, such as:
- Foraging for and providing food
- Caring for larvae
- Building the nest
- Defending the nest from invaders
- Cleaning the nest
Workers forego their own reproduction to help raise their siblings. It is thought that they do this because they are actually more closely related genetically to their sisters than they would be to their own offspring. Workers often share up to 75% of their genes with the Queen but would only share 50% of its genes with its own offspring.
A photograph of workers bees clustering around the queen.
Photograph by United States Federal Government.
- Africanised honey bees
- Bee bread
- Colony Collapse Disorder
- Flying ant day
- Honey bee
- Queen cell
- Queen excluder
Related pages on this web site
- Aculeate hymenoptera
- Bees and Beekeeping: From simple bee-ginnings
- Bees, Wasps and Ants - Order Hymenoptera
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