Different Types of Bees
A colony of honey bees has three distinct types of organisms:
- the queen
- the drones
- the workers
The queen B is the mother of the hive.
As females, they develop from fertilized eggs that are laid in vertical cells (Queen’s cup). After 16 days (on average), the adult queen emerges with an elongated abdomen that will soon be ready to mass produce eggs. As a virgin queen, she takes off on her mating flight, mates with multiple males (polyandrous) and returns to lay eggs for the majority of her life, until the colony swarms.
The drone honey bees are all the males in the colony as they are reproductively active and produce the sperm used to fertilize the Queen’s eggs. After mating with the queen they die immediately.
The worker bees are all females and do all the chores that needs to be done in a hive:
- keep the hive clean
- take care of and feed the queen and the bee larvae
- produce wax to build and fix the hive
- forage for nectar and pollen to make honey and royal jelly to feed the larvae and the queen
- protect the hive
- remove death bees and larvae from the hive
- collect water to bring to the hive to keep the temperature in the hive a stable 34C°