All Hail the Queen! Part 2

The Queen mates with drones outside of the hive, as mating occurs in flight. A young Queen store up to six million sperm from multiple drones in her spermatheca. She will selectively release sperm for the remaining two to seven years of her life. Sometimes, a Queen who has had a limited time to mate will become a “drone layer.” This usually signals the death of the colony, because the workers have no fertilized larvae from which to raise worker bees or a replacement Queen.

As the Queen ages, her pheromone output diminishes. As the Queen becomes old or ill, she will be replaced by the workers in a procedure known as “supersedure.” Beekeepers can replace the Queen if they know the age of the Queen, or see that the Queen has become a drone layer.

Despite all that her name implies, the Queen does not control the hive. She is simply there to reproduce. A high-quality Queen can lay up to 1,500 eggs each day during spring build up. The worker bees in the hive constantly surround her to meet her every need. The attendant workers collect and distribute her pheromone that inhibits the workers from starting Queen cells.

So..she doesn't "rule" the hive...but without her, there is no hive! So all hail the Queen!!

 

queen bee

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