The Life of a Queen Bee

The queen bee spends the majority of her time laying eggs and being pampered by the other bees.

via Wikimedia Commons

The queen bee spends the majority of her time laying eggs and being pampered by the other bees.

The queen bee is an essential part of a hive. A queen bee’s life is interesting and fascinating. After a queen bee gets old and cannot produce any more eggs, worker bees start their duty in making a new queen. Making a new queen bee includes many different processes for a female bee to actually turn into a queen bee. 

The birth of a queen bee starts by making new queen bees. Nursing bees will pick female larvae to become a queen. After they are picked, nursing bees feed the larvae a diet of royal jelly. Royal jelly is extremely rich in protein, sugars, fatty acids, vitamin B, trace minerals, and antibacterial and antibiotic components. Royal jelly is produced on the top of a bee’s head. It is a milky, white substance that activates a female larva’s reproductive system that makes her into a queen. Queen bees are kept in a queen honeycomb cell that is different from the rest of the honeycomb cells. After the queen bee is ready to come out, she chews her way through the larva with help from the worker bees. 

After the queen bee hatches, the life of a queen bee starts. The bee sets out to kill the other queen bees that have not hatched yet by piping. Piping is when the Queen bee does a high-pitched chirp. Then the queen will kill the other bees that were raised with her by stinging them to death. After the fight with the other bees, the queen bee will take a mating flight where she will be able to fertilize eggs. Once she is done, the queen returns to the hive, where she will lay eggs for as long as she can while being groomed and fed by her attendants. They will swarm her and will spread her pheromones all over the hive to tell the other bees that she is alive and in a good state of health. A queen bee can lay around 3,000 eggs every single day. As years go by, the queen bee will get older and will not be able to produce eggs like she used to. Her pheromones will also decrease, and only some parts of the hive will know she is alive. 

The bees prepare to raise more queen bees, and the cycle starts all over again. When the new queen is raised, she will kill the old queen bee by also stinging her to death.