On a wing and a prayer

Bumble-with-worn-wings
A late summer bumble bee on a late-blooming blackberry. Photo © Rusty Burlew.

We know that honey bee workers live an average of four to six weeks in the spring and summer, but the same is true for most adult bees that go foraging for nectar and pollen. The wings, it seems, are one of the first things to go. Not only do the wings move incredibly fast, but they are delicate and easily damaged. This bumble bee is approaching her end. Although she is still working hard, her wings are a fraction of their original size.

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