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Age structure is an important feature of the division of labour within honeybee colonies, but its effects on colony dynamics have rarely been explored. We present a model of a honeybee colony that incorporates this key feature, and use this model to explore the effects of both winter and disease on the fate of the colony. The model offers a novel explanation for the frequently observed phenomenon of 'spring dwindle', which emerges as a natural consequence of the age-structured dynamics.doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.4214358.v1 fatcat:jrivujt4uvfllilcwgfoaaaqbi