Queen Bee

How does a queen bee live?

The queen bee is much larger and longer than the rest of the bees. The rings of the abdomen are orange, produces a pheromone that serves to keep all members of the hive together and is in charge of putting the eggs in the hive.

When its first queen bee is born is to eliminate its competitors with a small string (other realeras and possible newborn queens). After 10 days, it goes abroad to make orientation flights, thus recognizing the area. Later he performs the nuptial flights in search of drones with which to mate.

In the nuptial flight, it flies between the drones. The males begin to chase it and the one that the scope can mount it. After the copulation, it is impossible to disengage itself of the drone and this one it loses its reproductive organ.

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He will return to the hive with the male organ hooked and it is the workers who help him to take it off. During these first days of life, the queen bee makes several nuptial flights, mates with several males and stores the sperm in an organ called spermatheca. After these flights will never leave to mate. The rest of his life can self-inseminate and ration the sperm collected during his only mating season.

It has two main functions, the laying of eggs and the cohesion of the hive. Once fertilized begins to lay eggs. The egg-laying varies according to the time of year, increases when the blooms are at their optimum point and diminished during the cold seasons. To promote cohesion they produce a real pheromone that the workers spread throughout the hive with the intention of letting the queen know that she is present. If the queen dies or disappears, the workers have to raise a queen or several. The same thing happens if it is old as it decreases the quality or quantity of the pheromone.

There is only one per hive, except for the warming periods, during this time the dominant queen allows a new queen to be born, the final objective is to create a swarm that will leave the hive, is one of the means of reproduction of the hive as an individual.

She can live for 7 years, when she is old and the settling down, the workers, hidden, allow a new successor to be born. The old queen must now fight in mourning, the one that is stronger can continue to reign in the hive. In approvals destined for production, it is usually kept for 4 years (tendency to 2 years), from this point on, beekeepers usually get rid of the old queen to favor the rearing of new queens.

  • Its body is longer than that of other members of the hive (bees and drones).
  • Your abdomen is slightly longer.
  • Does not have wax glands.
  • Your tongue is shorter since you do not need to pecorear.
  • Has sting, but only uses it to kill the other queens. It is smooth and curved.
  • Your body is ready to an egg.
  • The queen’s ovaries occupy a large part of the abdomen. They have composed of 160 to 180 tiny tubes joined by vessels. The eggs are formed in the upper part and when descending towards the vagina they are forming and maturing.
  • The spermatheca is in the final part. It is believed to contain sperm for 25 million fertilized eggs.

Characteristics of Queen Bee:

  • It feeds only on royal jelly.
  • Queens are born in realeras, elongated, acorn-shaped cells.
  • That a larva becomes a worker or a queen depends on the feeding.
  • Fertilized eggs give rise to a worker or a queen. Those not fertilized with drones.
  • Parthenogenesis is the ability queens have to lay eggs without being fertilized.
  • Depending on various circumstances, the queen may go out to fertilize one week after her birth and a few days later the laying begins. It can get to put on 2,000 to 3,000 eggs daily.
  • The queen only lays eggs where she is perfectly clean.

How to identify the queen?

  1. Find a bee that stands out for its size. The worker bees are approximately 1.5cm, while the drones and the queen are about 2cm. The size of the queen also depends on the age, a young queen is smaller than an older one.
  2. The queen differs from bees as well as from drones by having a longer abdomen, which is not completely covered by its wings and with a smooth, spiked stinger, unlike that of the workers. The abdomen of the drone is thick, heavy and larger than that of the queen or the workers, and has no sting. The queen’s eyes are smaller than those of bees and do not come together like those of drones. Their legs are longer than those of a working bee. Their third pair lacks corbicula (basket where they store pollen), Like the drones.
  3. Normally in a beehive, there is only one queen, so if you observe several bees of considerable size together they are most likely to be drones. There may be several queens when the hive is preparing to swarm or if the queen has died and several new queens have been born, in this case, the stronger will kill the rest.
  4. The young queens move at high speed between the pictures. The rest of the bees give way to her and surround her when she stays still.
  5. The queen is usually located in the combs that have set of the day. Although, as we have said, it moves at a great speed when it feels in danger.

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