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                                                       HONEY  BEE  FAMILY  




    Honey bees enlist a caste system to accomplish the tasks that ensure survival of the colony.  Each member of the community fulfils a need that serves the group.  Tens of thousands of worker bees, all females, assume responsibility for feeding, cleaning, nursing and defending the group.  Male drones live only to mate with the queen, who is the only fertile female in the colony.  The queen need not lift a wing, as workers tend to her every need.

    Don’t get the idea the queen is lazy, though.  A newly hatched queen begins her life in a duel to the death with any other queens present in the colony, and must destroy potential rivals that have not yet hatched.  Once she accomplishes this, she takes her virgin mating flight.   Throughout her life, she lays eggs and secretes a pheromone that keeps all other females in the colony sterile. There is only one queen per hive.  The queen is the only bee with fully developed ovaries.  A queen bee can live for 3- 5 years.  The queen mates only once with several male (drone) bees, and will remain fertile for life.  She lays up to 2000 eggs per day.  Fertilized eggs become female (worker bees) and unfertilized eggs become male (drone bees).  When she dies or becomes unproductive, the other bees will “make” a new queen by selecting a young larva and feeding it a diet of “royal jelly”.  For queen bees it takes 16 days from egg to emergence.  The queen bee has a sting, which she only uses on other queens.



    WORKER BEE :-            FGTGHH

    All worker bees are female, but they are not able to reproduce.  Worker bees live for 4 – 9 months during the winter season, but only 6 weeks during the busy summer months (the literally work themselves to death).  Nearly all of the bees in a hive are worker bees.  A hive consists of 20,000 – 30,000 bees in the winter, and over 60,000 – 80,000 bees in the summer.  The worker bees sequentially take on a series of specific chores during their lifetime: housekeeper, nursemaid, construction worker, grocer, undertaker, guard and finally after 21 days they become a forager collecting pollen and nectar. – thus the expression “busy bees”.  For worker bees, it takes 21 days from egg to emergence.  The worker bee has a barbed stinger that results in her death following stinging,  therefore, she can only sting once.




    DRONE BEE :-       HHGHJ

    These male bees are kept on standby during the summer for mating with a virgin queen.  Because the drone has a barbed sex organ, mating is followed by death of the drone.  There are only 300 – 3000 drones in a hive. The drones anatomical structure proves its limited role in the colony.  Drones lack stingers, so they cannot help defend the hive.  Without structures for collecting pollen or nectar, they cannot contribute to feeding the community.  Upon mating, its only reason for existence, the drone dies.  Because they are of no use in the winter, drones are expelled from the hive in the autumn.  For the drone bee it takes 24 days from egg to emergence.