Featured Bee: Soldier Bees
Bee Role: Soldier Bee
We previously discussed the role of guard bees (picture A), soldier bees (picture B) are their counterparts. Once the guard bee releases their alarm pheromone, it’s a call to action for soldier bees to stop what they are doing inside the colony and come out to attack.
Soldiers are an older class of bee, basically before they become foragers. When the wings of soldiers have been inspected under a microscope, you can see that they are in great condition compared to the wings of foragers that become tattered on the tips.
Older classes of bees have a lower threshold to react to alarm pheromone and produce more venom. This is the perfect combo for protecting the colony. Because these soldier bees stay inside of the colony all day instead of out in the field foraging, the colony can be ready for a daytime attack. You can find out more information about soldier bees in these two great papers here and here.
Lloyd St. Bees