A hive has only one queen bee and her job is to lay eggs to ensure the hive stays populated. Each hive requires a healthy and happy queen bee for continued existence.
There are three types of bees in a hive: worker, queen and drone. The queen controls the hive because she is able to fix the gender of eggs she lays to keep a proper balance, according to ScienceNow magazine.
Queen bees develop in specialized queen cells. The royal jelly in developing queens' diets allows them to become fertile, in contrast to worker bees.
It's deceiving to think each queen emerges as a final offspring of the old queen, since a queen bee can lay several queen cells at a time, according to the High Wycombe Beekeepers Association. As these new "virgin" queens emerge from their cells, they must identify one another and fight to the death so that one queen remains to rule the hive.
The final remaining virgin queen will leave the hive and mate with approximately a dozen drones. The sperm collected at this time will be used for the rest of her life. Her drone mates die after copulation, according to beehaviour.com.
Queen bees on average live two to five years. Worker bees live one to four months and drones on average live two months.
If the beekeeper is dissatisfied with the behavior or production of his hive, he may choose to replace the queen with a new queen. This may happen if other bees are foul humored, egg laying stops or the hive experiences a production decrease, according to beehaviour.com.
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