How a bee becomes to be a queen bee?

A queen bee surrounded by worker bees.

A look at royalty 

Outstanding is the queen bee.

Both in size and function ‘Her Majesty’ is different.

Can a queen bees sting?


The queen is larger, has no devices for handling or carrying pollen, but uses her sting to kill rival queens.

This happens when the hive flourishes and new queens appear.

Does a queen bee spring from some special royal descent?

Actually, the egg from which a queen develops is the same as those for worker bees.

How, then, does it produce a queen?


Becoming a bee queen

There are some differences in the nurturing process.

In a beehive, queen cells are much larger and more prominent than ordinary cells.

When an egg is laid in a queen cell, it gets special treatment.

Instead of being fed on ‘royal jelly’ for two and a half days, future queens receive this unique nourishment for four and a half to five days.

Surprisingly, development of a queen takes only fifteen to sixteen days, less time than for workers.

When new queens appear, the bee colony prepares to “swarm,” that is, to form a new colony, usually with the old queen.

The recently arrived virgin queens fight it out, leaving one as the new queen of the old hive.

The victorious queen then takes off on a nuptial flight, pursued by a number of males, or “drones.”

One of them succeeds in joining her in flight.

During her mating flight, the queen receives enough spermatozoa to last for years.

Thereafter, she becomes virtually an egg-laying machine, capable of laying up to 3,000 eggs per day.

How long can a queen bee live?

In contrast to the short life-span of worker bees, a queen may live for several years and become the progenitor of many future generations.