To some people, all bees may look the same. But, that is far from the truth. Just who is in a honey beehive you may ask? There are actually three different types of honey bee: the Queen, the Worker and the Drone.
God Save the Queen Bee
The phrase “Queen bee” is universally known to be used to represent powerful women. Great choice, considering the insect Queen Bee is one impressive female. She regulates the hive by giving pheromone signals and is significantly bigger than the Worker bees. The Queen is the leader of the hive known for being the largest bee who lays all of the eggs that maintain the hive population. But she can’t survive on her own, with the help of the Worker bee, her special diet of royal jelly is prepared.
Once the Queen starts to age, she may leave the hive with 60 percent of the workers to start a new hive. However, if the Queen is ailing or no longer can produce bees, the colony may sting her to death. Yikes.
If there are several new prospects being nurtured as possible Queens, the first new Queen bee to emerge will kill all the other developing Queens. Then she will reign supreme of the hive and life goes on. It’s a pretty cut throat life the Queen bee lives.
If you’ve ever heard the term “busy bee”, then you should know that it was coined to describe the Worker bees.
They are responsible for everything besides reproduction. The Workers have a list of specialized jobs. The young Workers stay in the hive and only focus on the domestic tasks for the first few weeks. These tasks may be attending the Queen, cleaning the hive, and also removing debris, dust, and pollen from other bees. Only until the wax glands are functioning can the Workers build honeycombs and use wax to cap cells holding pupae. Workers help store food by packing empty cells with pollen for later use.The older Workers are out and about, gathering nectar, water and pollen for the hive.
It wouldn’t be wise to approach a bee hive because the Workers act as guards and will fiercely protect it at all costs.
The Drones have a pretty lush life compared to the Workers and the Queen. If you want to visualize what life is like for a male Drone bee, imagine them lined up on bar stools, sipping royal jelly (created by the Worker bee). After a few days of this they change their diet to honey and fly out of the hive together to patrol and look for other Queens to procreate with.
These bees are big with big eyes but no sting.
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