A worker bee was a small auxiliary craft used by the Federation from the mid-23rd century to the late 24th century. Both the USS Shenzhou and her contemporary starship the USS Discovery carried a complement of worker bees.
These small, one-person vehicles were not equipped with auto-pilot, instead operated through the use of a spherical attitude control interface and control panel. The worker bee was characterized by a small cabin with large viewports that also acted as holographic interfaces. The vehicle could be configured for mission-specific tasks and equipped with mechanical arms and/or laser cannons for cutting. These attachments operated through the use of a glove worn by the worker bee's pilot. (DIS: "The Vulcan Hello", "Despite Yourself")
During the Battle of the Binary Stars, Captain Philippa Georgiou briefly considered arming a worker bee with a photon warhead and piloting it herself in an attempt to disable or destroy the Klingon Ship of the Dead. (DIS: "Battle at the Binary Stars")
List of ships
- Unnamed worker bees