The worker bees live a very short life. Their average life span is about six weeks. The worker bees are the sterile females of the bee population. They feed honey and pollen to the queen of the hive. The worker bees are called nurse bees when they enter into this stage. They produce a jelly called royal jelly which is high in protein. They give this royal jelly to the queen bee and she feeds it to her young ones. Then worker bees start to produce a honeycomb from the wax that they secrete. During this stage they can also fan their wings to circulate fresh air. The house bee is a young worker be about 2 weeks old bee who only works in the hive.
The queen bee is the head honcho of the whole hive. The queen really doesn’t do much. She sits in the hive and has the babies. The queen secretes a substance called queen factor which keeps all of the other female bees from becoming sexually mature. The queen is fed royal jelly to further her development as she becomes a grown bee. The queen’s number one priority is to reproduce. Once she successfully does that, her job is pretty much done with. The queen is very special because she can do all of her mating in the air. The queen only mates once in her life, but in that one mating session she can produce as many as a million eggs a year. When the queen feels that the hive is getting crowded, she ventures off into the wilderness with a few of her worker bees to search for a new beginning (a new hive). Then, when the queen dies another queen will take her place and start the whole thing all over again.
The drones are also placed on this earth for one main reason. That reason is to satisfy the queen. Drones are unfertilized eggs whose jobs consist of supplying the queen bee with the sperm when she is ready. Then the drones are either eaten by the queen or stung by the workers and evicted from their home. They live a very tragic life. The drone’s structure is also kind of odd because the drone does not possess a stinger. So, they cannot really protect themselves when they need to.
The queen bee releases a substance called queen factor which is a pheromone. When she releases this substance, the other bee’s behavior is affected. They act as if they were under the influence. They really are because the queen factor acts as a drug in that it affects the way that their body functions. The queen also causes the bees to march in a line as if they were in a marching band. What they are doing is following the queen factor.
Bees communicate by special dances that they perform for special occasions. This may seem kind of odd, but this is actually true. German biologist Karl von Frisch first discovered these special dances after 25 years of hard research. The bees do the dance according to their food source and it’s position. They also involve the sun in their communicative dances. The scout would go out and find some food and then return and do a dance like motion. He would circle once to the left and then once to the right, and that is where we got the name of the round dance. Another dance was also discovered. This dance was called the waggle dance. The bee would go in a straight forward motion and waggle their little abdomens. Later, we discovered that the round dance was a dance done for food sources closest to the hive, but the waggle dance was performed for food sources closest to the sun.. They do these dances to communicate to the other bees and tell them if the food source is either close to the hive or closer to the sun.