Anatomy of a Bee

Growth Stages of the Honey Bee
(www.geochembio.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Structure of the Honey Bee

The worker bees are female bees who normally do not lay egss. They live for about 6 weeks. They begin life as a hive nurse who cleans and caps cells, feeds the drones, queen and brood. As they get older they store and receive nectar from other workers, packpollen, build honeycomb and keep the hive clean. Later they become honey ripeners and hive guards. Finally they become foragers searching for and collecting nectar, pollen and water for the colony

The queen is largest bee and each hive has only one. Her sole purpose is to lay eggs. The queen bee only has one mating period. During this period she leaves the hive and will mate with 7 to 10 drones. She then returns to her hive and begins to lay her eggs. The queen can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day in the spring. The queen bee lives for 2 to 4 years.

The drones are the male bees. They are shorter than the queen and have larger eyes and antennae than all the females. The larger eyes and antennae help it find the queen during her mating flight. The drone dies instantly after it mates with the queen.


Image from http://www.geochembio.com

One Response to Anatomy of a Bee

  1. Malcolm Ritchie says:

    When is your next Moulton meeting? I’m a novice but want to get into beekeeping
    Mritchie@martinsafety.com

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