"Another cell, another hour," I thought to myself as I finished cleaning one more cell. "These kids are nothing but trouble," a somewhat hypocritical thought, I admit, because it was just a couple of days earlier that I had emerged from my own cell. Now I was the one feeding the youngsters and cleaning up after them.
It won't be long though, maybe just a couple of more weeks, and then my big break will come. If all goes well at the house, I'll get promoted and eventually they'll make me a forager bee. I'll get to spend my days outside, enjoying nature. It will be my chance to see the world. I can't wait.
But for now, I'm just a lowly 'nurse' bee. I feed the babies and do housecleaning. Once in awhile, I peak out a window, but the guards, those old codgers, always warn me to get back in to the darker, safer recesses of the house. They say it's "dangerous" out there, but I think they just have a power complex. They've done it all and seen it all, you'd think they'd have a better sense of humor, but that's not the case. No, on the contrary, those guard bees are the most ornery, short-tempered old farts in the whole house.
"Hey, watch where you're going, apis." That was Betty. She just bumped into me on her way to another cell, cleaning, of course. We emerged just seconds apart, so you might call us twin-sisters.
"Billie, you're sure moving slow today," Betty retorted, "You day-dreaming again?"
"It's none of your business. Besides, I'm still on schedule, almost."
"I don't know. The latest news from the Queen's Court is that she's stepped up her egg production. You know what that means, Billie, more work for us."
"Yeah, I'd heard that rumor too, Betty, but I think Her Majesties Court is just covering for her. If anything, I'd say that egg production is down. We'll see."
"We'll see. Be well."
Betty ducked into another empty cell, as did I. The Queen's egg production is all we seem to ever talk about around here. That, and nectar flow. The more she lays, the more work us nurse bees have to do, and vice-versa, which doesn't sound so good for us, but then again, the sooner a bunch of young nurse bees emerge, the sooner I'll be promoted to a field bee, so I'm all for more egg production.
You see, it works like this in our house... the Queen lays an egg in one of the recently cleaned and empty cells. Then the nurse bees feed and take care of that young babe for a few days before closing her in her cell/room for a couple of weeks. While enclosed, the young bee goes through some personal growth before emerging in, like I said, a couple of weeks. Then they get to go to work as nurse bees. So, when enough new nurse bees emerge, the Queen's Court will promote me. Until that time, it's more housework for me.