Bumble bees accumulate wing wear while foraging. If wing-worn workers face higher costs of flight, they should reduce their wing use, perhaps to increase their residual lifespan and net lifetime contribution to their colony. Measuring four behavioural variables (flight amount, flight frequency, choice of flower density, and distance travelled), I found that wing-worn workers sometimes used their wings less than pristine-winged bumble bees. Long-tongued, wing-worn workers were also more likely to forage on flowers with short corollas, which reduced their wing use. Wing use also depended on both past and present wing wear. Bees given experimental wing wear flew less, and bees with high natural wing wear used their wings less when feeding on Cirsium arvense. This study emphasizes the importance of wing wear in explaining the foraging behaviour of bumble bees. Wing-worn workers reduce their wing use in a manner predicted to offset higher flight costs of wing wear.