A honey bee colony or healthy Bee box contains About 30,000-60,000 female worker bees, a few hundred male drone bees and a large queen bee.
Each member of a bee community has a specific role in life and numerous tasks to accomplish. The social life of the honeybee has always been viewed as a model of industry, cooperation, and efficiency.
Thirty and sixty thousand workers in early summer, plus a queen and up to three thousand drones, whose sole purpose is to mate with the single queen.The social life of the honeybee has always been viewed as a model of industry, cooperation, and efficiency. Each member of a bee community has a specific role in life and numerous tasks to accomplish. An old graphic depicting a beekeeper and a variety of bees is reproduced.
The Worker Bees
Most of the adult honeybees in a colony are female worker bees. worker bees can live up to 6 weeks during winter & 5 months during summer. Worker bees have to perform a wide range of tasks.
- Gather and store, nectar & pollen
- Feed young ones
- produce royal jelly & bee bread
- Produce wax
- Keep hive cool by fanning her wings
- Guard hive from intruders
- cleaning and repairing the comb
- Fee and taking care of queen bees & drones
The life cycle of worker bees:
The life cycle of worker bees is called metamorphosis. There are four stages
- The eggs
1st day – Egg laying
|Queen bees lay eggs in each hexagonal wax cell
|Egg hatches into white larvae.
The larvae are fed with beebread (Honey & larvae)
|The hexagonal cell containing larvae is sealed with a cap of wax.
The pupa is a transition between amorphous larvae and winged bees.
|The new worker bees are born. which can live up to 3 months.
The Drone bees
Drones are male members of a honey bee colony. they are around 5% of the total population of bees. Drones are slightly bigger than worker bees and smaller than queen bees. They live for around 2 months.
Drone bees do not collect nectar and pollen. They do not have a stinger. They depend on worker bees for feeding.
The Queen bee
There is only one queen in a colony or bee box. We can easily identify, because of its size. The Queen bee is the largest bee with a long abdomen. Queen bee can live up to 3-5 years.
Eggs that are destined to become queens are laid in a larger cell, and the larvae are fed only royal jelly rather than ordinary beebread. queen bee also has a stinger, which is used while taking over the colony.
A virgin queen bee takes a nuptial flight during 1st or 2nd week of her life. During which the queen will mate with as many as twenty drones. Soon after mating, each drone dies.
After coming back to the colony queen bee starts laying eggs. one egg in each hexagonal cell. The fertilized eggs develop into worker bees or new queen bees and unfertilized eggs become male drone bees. She can lay around 2000 eggs per day for the rest of her life.