Bees have one of the most fascinating societies among the living organisms. They consist of 3 types. The workers, the drones and the queens.
All of the worker bees are females. Almost every bee that you see outside of the hive is a female bee. Their job is to collect flower pollen so that they can feed the rest of the bees who live in their hive.
What is the job of the female bees?
The worker bees are supposed to collect food for the whole hive. They go out everyday and visit flowers to collect their pollen and take them to the hive to create food.
This YouTube video explains how the whole process occurs.
Worker bees are supposed to carry a lot of bees home. They have a lot of hair on their bodies that help them during the process.
The worker bee goes inside the flower and starts collecting pollen, hair helps them keep the pollen on their bodies and also helps them take the pollen out of the flower.
The worker bees have special baskets on their legs that allow them to store the pollen they collect. Once they take the pollen out of the flower, they place it inside their leg baskets.
Some of the female bees’ job is to become the queen of the hive. The queen bee is the most important bee in the hive because it is the only bee that guarantees the survival of the hive.
The queen’s job is to mate with male bees and lay eggs. Lay A LOT of eggs each day. Since the lifespan of a worker bee is not long at all [less than half a year usually], queen bees have to lay thousands of eggs each day to make sure that the hive grows and survives.
Only the queen bee can lay eggs and reproduce bees. If there isn’t a queen bee inside a hive, the hive won’t survive for long. That’s why the queen plays the most important role inside a hive.
So that’s the job of female bees inside a hive? What about the male bees? What do they do?
What is the job of the male bees?
Male bees, which are known as drones, are only responsible for mating with the queen. That’s it. They remain inside the hive while the worker bees feed them.
They mate with the queen so that the queen is able to lay eggs and produce more bees. What’s interesting is that male bees usually die immediately after mating.
A very small number of drone bees survive after mating, and if they do, they are kicked out of the hive because they have already served their purpose and they are no longer needed.
What happens to the queen?
The queen has the longest lifespan among all the other bee types. However, there will come a day when a queen won’t be able to keep its productivity.
Usually after a few years, a queen bee will start laying less eggs than it used to and at that moment, the worker bees realize that they need to pick a new queen.
How do worker bees pick their new queen?
According to this huffpost article, worker bees pick some of the eggs randomly as their potential new queens. They take special care of the randomly selected potential queens. They feed them special food that can make them strong enough to be able to do the queen’s duty.
The first bee among the selected bees to become mature enough is announced as a queen. The new queen kills all of its competitors and proceeds to do its job by mating with drones to start laying eggs.
What happens to the old queen?
The worker bees either decide to keep the old queen inside the hive until she dies naturally or they kick the queen out of their hive the moment they announce a new queen.
Do male bees sting?
No they don’t. Male bees do not have stingers and they only exist to mate with the queen. You rarely see them outside because the majority of the bees that live in a hive are female workers.
Only worker bees have a stinger.
All worker bees are females. Male bees are responsible for helping the queen lay eggs and they do not go outside to collect pollen and make food.