Friday, February 27, 2009

It's Good to be Queen!

There are definite advantages to being Queen of the hive. Perhaps the biggest advantage is longevity. A queen bee will live several years. On average, the rest of the bees in the hive have a 6 week lifespan.

The queen begins her life as a female egg...no different than a worker bee egg. At some point, her egg is singled out by the nurse (worker) bees and upon entering the larval stage is fed a substance that these workers carry in their glands....called royal jelly. This royal jelly causes the larva to develop into a larger bee and a queen is crowned.


Within a couple of weeks, she leaves the hive to mate with several drones....in flight. Upon returning to the hive, she spends the rest of her days laying eggs. Meanwhile, worker bees are in attendance...doing all of the necessary household chores to maintain the Queen and her nursery.
In beekeeping, it is beneficial to have the queen marked with a colored dot on her thorax. This makes the job of finding the queen much easier. Although she is larger than the rest of the bees...it is often difficult to find her amongst the other 20 or 30 thousand bees in the hive.

6 comments:

cj'sboutique said...

Just found your blog with info on bees and sourdough. I, too, am trying that bread. None of the five weeks of baking have "risen" so I think it's just the way this kind of sourdough works w/out commercial yeast. Do try the caraway/rye and the olive/garlic, the taste more than makes up for the heavy texture.

K-Falls Farmgirl Cheryl said...

MY husvabd & I are taking a bee keeeping class next Sunday in Portland. We will drive up there to attend. We are hoping to be able to raise bees here in Klamath Falls. we have a very short season of flowers but there are a couple other folks sellinghoney here so figured we would have a nice hobby at least.
Great info & suggestionabout marking the Queen..
Cheryl

suesueb said...

i love all the information about the bees. great photos too. thanks for sharing!!

Nancy Cook said...

Very informative. My father kept bees while we were growing up. I was more excited then about the small bits honeycomb he would give us to snack on, than learning about bees. Now I wish I had paid more attention. Thanks for the great blog!

Anne Fannie said...

Hi Bev, I really enjoyed reading about the Queen Bee! Very interesting! I still hate bees though, especially when they sting!
Love, Ann

KKJD1 said...

Loving all the bee info! Have a great weekend, Karen

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