7 Amazing Facts about the Queen Honey Bee

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a queen bee with attendants around her

Before you start to think that the queen bee is a royal pain in the butt, think again. Even though she has a preconceived, paramount role in the hive society…she lives far from a royal, privileged life.

If you want your hive to thrive and stay alive…then a strong queen bee is the way to go.  The queen is essential to the life and prosperousness of the hive and their harvest.

The queen’s total role in the hive is to reproduce and she will spend all of her time in that role.  She will leave the hive only once in her life…to mate. And then never leave again.

7 Facts about the Queen Bee that Should Amaze You

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queen bee facts infographic

 

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  1. She’s Not in Charge

The queen bee, despite her royal nomenclature, does not rule the hive.  She is the mother of the hive and her sole, life-long responsibility is to mate and reproduce.

  1. That’s A lot of Egg Laying

The queen bee can lay up to 2,000 eggs daily.  These eggs range from 1 to 1.5 mm in length and at that pace, the queen is laying something like one egg EVERY 40 to 45 seconds!

  1. She’s Busy and Needs “Attendants”

So busy is the queen laying eggs constantly that she has servants, called “attendants”, that just shadow her all day-cleaning and even feeding her.

  1. She Gets it ALL IN in One Day!

The queen leaves the hive only once in her lifetime.  She takes off for 1 to 2 days and mates with up to 30 drones.  After that she returns to the hive to begin laying eggs.  She will never mate again.

  1. The Royal Jelly

As she spends most of her life in the hive and never forages for honey or pollen, she doesn’t have the taste for honey that the other bees do.  She is instinctually and naturally bred to leave all of that honey for the eggs, pupae, larvae and the rest of the hive.  Instead, she eats a substance called “royal honey” which is a secretion that the worker bees provide.

  1. The Cut Throat Lifestyle of the Hive

When a queen bee is not fertile anymore, the worker bees will kill and “make” a new royal highness.  How?  They feed a handful of fertilized eggs their “royal jelly”.  Once the first queen bee is hatched she will find the other, unhatched queens and kills them.  “Reign Long, Queen!”

  1. That Caramel Skin!

Queen bees can be distinguished by their longer body and caramel color stripes that are opposite the black.  A worker bee has a smaller, more compact body and will be the ones that you see around flowers.  Drones have large eyes, a wide body, and big ole’ butt.

queen, drone and worker bee comparison

As you can see, the royalty of the hive is not all glamour and glitz.  It is a demanding life and she is programmed to only do the work she was destined to do.

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