The number of workers found in a honey bee hive can be estimated using the following information:

About one-third of the worker bee in a hive forage every day. Based on average number of flights per day by a single bee and the amount of time spent foraging, the following formula can be used to calculate the number of bees in a hive:

N = 3 x (f/0.0138)

N = number of bees in the hive

f = number of bees seen leaving the nest in one minute

If Joe observes 35 bees leaving a hive in one minute, how many bees are inside? Round off the answer to the nearest whole number.

Answer: 35/0.0138 = 2,536 bees foraging per day. This is about one-third of the hive, so 2,536 x 3 = 7,608 bees in the hive.

Note: The value 0.0138 is based on average amount of time spent foraging for an average honey bee colony on an average day. This value will actually change considerably with amount of food available, weather conditions, etc.

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