Queen bees and fertilization
This is how the fertilization of queen bees occurs. Why is it so important to bees?
What does it mean to be a queen bee? Is it a simple role or does it have pitfalls? In this article we analyze some main stages in the life of queen bees and the most curious characteristics of this role, especially fertilization.
Fertilization of queens
Queen bees play the key role in bee survival. The birth of a queen is what bees constantly strive for. Bees concentrate continuously from the construction of royal cells to the production of royal jelly, heat and honey. All their work is built around a very specific desire: to have a queen bee capable of producing new individuals.
Yes, because as we all know by now, queen bees are the only bees capable of being fertile. All the other bees in the hive do not develop a reproductive system capable of laying and fertilizing eggs. This is a task that rests solely with the queen.
The importance of her is detectable thanks to the numerous attentions that the sovereign receives. In fact, it is also possible to notice through the observation of bees that the queen bee is very facilitated and respected. Often when it moves it is possible to notice that the other bees or drones dodge to allow it to pass without obstacles.
All this attention on the part of the workers has a certain purpose. The queen bee is kept in excellent health to be as productive as possible.
Before fertilization, the still virgin queen bee is unable to produce fertilized eggs. To be able to do this, she needs to collect and store the seed of the drones in her body.
Fertilization occurs once and only when the queen is able to store so much sperm inside her that she can then fertilize the eggs for the rest of her life. Bees give unimaginable importance to fertilization that occurs through the nuptial flight.
Precisely because it is a unique event, the queen cannot afford to be wrong in any way. The queen will mate with all the drones in the hive and will later return to the hive, remaining there forever until her definitive replacement when old age arrives.
In fact, the workers hide their industriousness and their attention to the queen behind a natural instinct aimed at their interests. When a queen is no longer efficient with egg production, she is immediately replaced. Even if the fertilization with the drones does not take place adequately, the queen can also be killed.
Drones play a marginal role
As we have already said, the drones will do their job during the nuptial flight. They will be summoned and herded together to fly and mate in turn with the queen.
The queen reaches significant flight heights, drones that are not strong enough cannot reach the queen and are forced to return to the hive. Their return, however, does not have good prospects of survival. Drones that have not completed mating are rejected to such an extent that the worker bees will no longer take care of providing them with nourishment. Without the nourishment from the workers the drones will not be able to survive.
For the "lucky ones" who instead managed to mate with the queen, the fate is not much better, since once the copulation has taken place, the drones go against death. After mating, the drones lose their reproductive system which remains attached to the queen and fall to the ground after the flight lifeless.
Queen bees and orientation flights
Before the nuptial flight, the queen bees never leave the hive precisely because fertilization is a unique and extraordinary event. The role of the queen bee takes place only inside the hive where the bee receives all the comforts and attention of her workers. Precisely for this reason, however, the queen bee does not develop flying skills and before the nuptial flight she must practice to make the most of her wings.
For this reason, the worker bees push the queen bee out by pulling it by the wings or even giving it blows. The queen bee will see the exterior for the first time and will try to fine-tune her flight performance. These exercises are called orientation flights.
On the occasion of the latter, the queen bees will also carry out flights with particular circular movements for the diffusion of pheromones near the drones. The production of pheromones will attract the attention of all the dukes within a radius of many kilometers who will prepare for mating.
Queen bees for sale
Apicoltura Laterza deals with the production of virgin and fertile queen bees.
Queens are available in the Buckfast and Ligustica breed. To purchase our bees, simply go to the Queen Bees section and select the product and the period in which you want to receive the order.
We ship throughout Italy but also throughout Europe through fast, safe and agreed shipments. Buy queen bees for your farm now!