We often hear the term, “busy as a bee” but what does that actually mean? Yes, we know bees make honey and I am sure it is not an easy job however do you know just how fascinating these bees
are? They actually have a highly organized society inside their colonies. These colonies consist of a surprising 20,000 - 80,000 female worker bees, a queen and hundreds of
The only fertile female in the colony
Repeatedly emits pheromones that only the bees in the hive can smell
The other female worker-bees are kept sterile by these pheromones.
After mating early in life she keeps million of sperm in her body until she needs them.
A queen bee lives for 3- 5 years.
A drone is hatched from an unfertilized egg.
Has only one parent and one set of genes
Does not have a stinger or the necessary parts to collect pollen or nectar
Their only purpose is to mate with the queen bee
Largest population in the colony
They are all females
Can NOT produce fertilized eggs
Each one has different responsibilities and performs specific job duties as she reaches a certain age, this is determined by her biological clock.
- Cleaners: responsible for cleaning and polishing the empty cells that ready to receive new eggs and store nectar and pollen.
- Undertakers: remove dead bees and carry corpses as far away from the hive as possible
- Nurses: Care for the developing larvae
- Builders: At a young age these bees are responsible for secreting and developing beeswax.
- Temperature Controllers: Collect water and spread it around the hive to control the temp
- Guards: These bees check every bee that returns to the hive for a familiar scent. Only members of the hive are allowed to enter.
- Foragers: At about 2 weeks old these bees search of nectar, water, pollen and propolis from nearby flowers.