How queen bees are born and develop
When a new queen bee is born, the worker bees will know exactly which cell the new queen will emerge from. In the world of bees all this is already premeditated, even before a queen can come to light, the chosen larvae are placed in special royal cells that are larger and more capacious than the others.
How are queen bees born?
As we all know, bees preemptively organize new birth hierarchies during spawning. When a queen lays her eggs, the bees are able to know exactly how many females and males will be spawned by them.
Let's better analyze how the procedure that will determine the sex of the larvae works.
The eggs are laid through the sting of the queen bee. The queen bees can decide to lay fertilized or unfertilized eggs.
When the eggs are not fertilized by them, only male bees or drones can be born. If the eggs are fertilized instead, new female bees will be born.
When a bee is female, she will be able to play both the role of worker and queen but the choice, like any biological mechanism of bees, is perfectly analyzed and predicted.
The larvae destined to become queens will be placed inside the royal cells, which are purposely more spacious to allow for greater development than the others.
When all the fertilized eggs are laid, they all receive the same nourishment. Nurse bees are very young bees that are purely concerned with providing royal jelly to the larvae.
This only happens in an initial phase since, after about three days, the privilege of receiving royal jelly is dedicated only by the larvae found in the royal cells . Royal jelly is therefore the secret that allows queens to be born and grow larger than the others. Queens are about 50% larger than other bees.
The development in terms of time is also different for the queens and the rest of the bees.
Queen bees develop over 16 days. The worker bees, on the other hand, become complete insects after 21 days. On the other hand, the drones have a slower development, which take almost a whole month to reach adulthood.
Bees usually predict the birth of at least two queens but they will not be able to exist at the same time and will duel in a mortal challenge to decree the new ruler.
Short life for those who lose the challenge
In some cases, the life of the queen bee becomes very short. There are different cases in which it can lose its life in its own hive.
The first case is the one that happens immediately after her birth. When a new queen is born she must already demonstrate her supremacy over her to fill this vital role.
In fact, it's not a given that just because she has received better nourishment, she will be able to show her strength. In the event of the presence of two new and young queens, the latter will compete in a direct fight, in which, the weaker one will lose her life despite her having just come into the world.
In the life of bees there is never room for two queens and the one who will be able to kill the opponent through the use of the sting, she will become the new ruler.
Queen bee, a difficult role to keep
Despite the struggle for the throne, once sovereign, the queen must always be careful not to disappoint her swarm. There are cases in which the queen does not adequately perform her task and if she does not prove useful for the reproduction of families, she can be killed by her own handmaids.
Let's explain the concept better:
the queen bees have a fundamental task: reproduction. They never leave the hive and take care of laying eggs in very large numbers. To spawn, queens need to be fertilized by drones during a procedure that takes place through the nuptial flight.
The nuptial flight allows queens to store enough semen to fertilize their eggs for several months. If during the nuptial flight, the fertilization does not take place correctly, the queen can seriously risk her life. During the nuptial flight, the drones die immediately after mating and will therefore not be available again to repeat the process.
When the queen bee returns to the hive, the workers take care of carefully checking that fertilization has taken place. In case the process is not completed correctly, the queen is killed to make room for a new, more efficient ruler.
From this point of view, the survival instinct of the swarms leaves no room for the rest. If a queen is unable to produce a large number of fertilized eggs, she must necessarily be replaced since the conservation of the hive depends precisely on this factor.
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