Have you ever wondered where you’d fit in if you called a bee colony home? Learn more about bees below and take the quiz at the end to find out! Post your results in the comments and let us know!
The queen bee is the boss of the hive. She has the selfless role of being the reproductive centre of the entire hive. Her job is to lay about 1500 eggs PER DAY and only leaves the hive once in her life to mate. To be the queen, no special training is required, it’s a matter of luck. They become queens because they are laid in special cells of the hive that are bigger than the others, and are randomly picked to be fed a substance called royal jelly instead of the larval honey that the other larvae receive. Queen bees also release special chemicals called pheromones within the hive, which direct the social and behavioural actions of the other bees.
Worker bees play a very important role in the hive. These bees are all females, and are responsible for every job in the hive except reproduction. They have different jobs within the hive, including guards to defend the hive, nursing bees and feeding growing larvae, cleaning the hive, cleaning other bees, and collecting nectar, pollen, and water. They really live up to the phrase, ‘busy as a bee’!
The drone’s life is a little simpler than that of the worker. Their only role is to mate with the queen so the hive can reproduce. There are about 100 female worker bees for every drone bee. Drones are incapable of feeding themselves or foraging for food. They also don’t have stingers and therefore cant defend themselves or the hive. They die as soon as they’ve mated with the queen. When times are tough, or the weather gets cold, drones are kicked out of the hive by worker bees, leaving them to starve.