Monday, June 28, 2021

List: Ten things that you (probably) didn't know about Queen Bees.

 With the Summer here, there's been lots of buzzing insects making me jump, scream, and run in fear.  My brain immediately thinks "BEE" and my ridiculous reflexes go into action.  It's actually quite more dramatic in real life..  In other words, to say that I have a fear of bees is a serious understatement.

how does a queen bee become the queen

Last year, we went to a sunflower maze out east.  I was afraid to even get out of the car because of the bees.  To my surprise, they didn't bother me.  I didn't jump, scream or run away.  Not even once!  That's when I had the epiphany.  I'm not afraid of bees.  I'm afraid of the other stinging insects performing identity theft on the poor honey bees!

After coming to this realization, I started researching how to tell the difference between a honey bee and other bees.  That's when I went down this rabbit hole about honey bee colonies, swarms, their impact on the world, and their fascinating queens.  Don't give me that look. We've all gone down the rabbit hole..  I was so fascinated by the queen bees that I decided to share this information with all of you.

how is a queen bee born

Ten interesting facts about queen honey bees.

1.  All female bees are born the same, even the queens.
I always thought that queen bees were the result of some genetic lottery system.  Well, BUZZ! Sorry, couldn't resist..  That's totally wrong.  All female bees are born the same and have the same genetic make up.  For a female bee to become a queen instead of a regular worker bee all comes down to fact #2!

2.  Queen bees are fed a special diet.
When the bees pick a handful of baby worker bees to raise as a queen, they feed them a special diet.  That special diet is what allows them to grow larger, fatter, and with the special reproductive system that only queen bees have.  This special diet is very simple.  They're strictly fed royal jelly seriously which is a protein rich secretion from the heads of other worker bees ew.

3.  Once fully formed, they murder their sisters.
As they eat their royal jelly and are pampered by their colony, the premature queen bees rest in a cocoon like hive.  Once ready, the queen bee chews through the cocoon and then has to murder their other siblings.  There can only be one queen, so the first to hatch is considered the strongest of the batch.

Fun Fact:  The sister almost queen bees know their fate and make it easier for their crowned bee to find them by screaming.  Once they're found in the cocoons, the queen stings all of her sisters to death.  Even more gruesome is if two queen bees emerge at the same time.  They then have to fight to the death!

4.  After the first horrible deed is done, they must then murder their mother.
If the reason for raising another queen bee is that the original queen is no longer able to fill their duties, the newly crowned queen must sting their mother to death.  If the reason for raising another queen is because of swarming, then the mother simply leaves.

5.  A queen bee's first official duty is to go on a mating flight.
This sex filled flight is where the queen bee will mate with multiple male drones and store enough sperm in her special reproduction system to last her 2 to 7 seven years!  This one flight is the only time that the poor little queen bee will have sex in her entire life.

6.  The rest of the queen bee's life is dedicated to laying eggs.
After her flight of fun, the queen bee will spend the rest of her life laying eggs in empty spaces in the honey comb.  In her prime, the queen bee could lay up to 2,000 eggs in a single day!  I'm so glad I'm not a bee..

7.  Not all of the queen bee's eggs need to be fertilized.
Many of us are trained to think unfertilized eggs could never turn into life.  Normally, this is correct, but in the bee world, it's totally false!  Fertilized eggs turn into female bees and unfertilized eggs turn into male drone bees.  The queen bee consciously determines which egg will be fertilized or unfertilized.

Fun Fact:  We've probably never seen a male honey bee before.  The sole purpose of a male honey bee is to mate with other queen bees.  Once their job is done, they're kicked out of the colony where they'll most likely die quickly in exile from either starvation or the cold.  Honey bees may be gentle to humans, but they're pretty damn harsh among themselves!

8.  Queen bee's have attendants, literally.
A queen bee's sole purpose is to lay eggs for the colony to prosper and eventually swarm.  This means that queen bees don't have time to do squat.  As a result, they have their own staff of attendant bees that will do everything for them.  This includes everything from cleaning them to even digesting their food for them!

9.  When a colony gets too large, they instinctively swarm.
In order to to preserve their species, queen bees will instinctively send out the message that the colony will split and swarm.  This starts the process all over again.  Nurse bees will begin preparing new queens to take over the hive, while the queen and its loyal followers prepare to swarm and start a new colony.

Fun Fact:  Queen bees are so heavy that it is very difficult for them to fly.  To help her make the long flight to a new home, the queen's attendants put her on a diet and limit that royal jelly!

10.  A queen bee doesn't rule in a monarchy.
Bees communicate with their pheromones.  This is especially important when swarming because the queen bee doesn't make the final decision of where their new home will be.  Instead, the entire hive votes on it.  All hail the queen democracy!

Have you ever seen a queen bee?


  1. I often take royal jelly, it is a traditional medicine here for immunity. Propolis as well.

    1. Really??? I never even heard about it until a few weeks back when I started researching the queen bees. What does it taste like?!

    2. Like most other honey products. Propolis is bitter and comes in droughts with you put either in tea or on some sugar. You can also take pollen, and bees toxin is known to cure everything. I have read last week about some young beekeeper who was stung in a mold on his hand and the mold disappeared two weeks after. We even have little wooden houses built upon beeshives above which you sleep and apparently it cures a lot of things too falling asleep to their buzzing.

  2. Well, those fun facts do not make me like bees anymore than I previously did. I’m fine with the orange honeybees, though they have slowly disappeared. I’m not sure I know what a Queen Bee even looks like. What I hate are yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets. All are nasty creatures and deserving of my hatred!

    1. LMAO, I think we're on the same page. The honey bees don't bother me. I thought I was afraid of all bees until I learned that honey bees and bumblebees don't really bother you. Last summer, I caught my son holding and PETTING a bumblebee and the bee was all chill about it. hahaha

  3. I knew the Queen was getting busy in a male harem of bees but most of the others I did not

  4. Amazing article! According to scuentist; Bees play a very important role on life cycle around the world. 2019 and 2020 population of Bees was decreasing. Hope to 2021 will be better. Thank you so much for the review Dear friend. One of my favourite subjects. Happy day.

  5. Who knew bees were so brutal? Like your son, my daughter loves petting bumblebees. They are always so chill about it, too. My husband is allergic to bees though, so I have to have an epi pen with me at all times in case he gets stung.


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