The Queen bee

The Queen really doesn't look how you'd imagine - or at least not as I imagined!  It's true shes bigger than the others (all of whom are her children), but it's her body that's longer, not fatter.  She's longer so she can get her tail down to the bottom of a cell to carefully lay an egg.  Laying eggs is all she does, and up to 2,000 a day in early summer.  She doesn't even feed or clean herself, she has staff for that!

She may be bigger and the onl one to lay eggs but The Queen isn't really in charge, the workers (her daughters are).  They're always judging her, and if she's ill or not laying well they will get rid of her as the survival of the Colony comes first.  The Queen has a pheromone that is spread around the hive from bee to bee and tells them all how strong she is.  The pheromone wears out as she gets older and  so  the colony become more jumpy when you inspect them as they start the process of getting a new Queen.

Emily AbbottComment