Queen bees: characteristics and curiosities
In the bee world, no family would be able to survive without its queen.
We are talking about swarms that include tens of thousands of individuals. Even in cases where the bee families are larger and stronger, their number matters little if the queen is not present.
Being a queen bee is no small task. Let's try to learn more about the characteristics and curiosities of these particular animals.
Think you know all about queen bees ? We have created for you a list of the most astounding and little taken for granted peculiarities about queen bees and the mechanisms that regulate the life of these particular living beings.
The secret of queen bees is food
Have you ever wondered why queen bees grow more prominently than worker bees? The secret of their growth and their more elongated and stronger body is contained in a single factor: royal jelly. The diet that the queen bees follow is completely different from that of the worker bees and the rest of the hive.
The larvae, already chosen to fill the role of sovereign, are nourished in a different way from the others from the first moments of life. This will allow them to grow in a totally different way and to be the only ones in entire hives, capable of being fertile.
The sting of the queen bees has a double function
Also called “ ovipositor ”, the sting of the queen bees is capable of giving both life and death.
It should be noted that only female bees possess a stinger, drones do not.
After making a difference between males and females, it is good to specify that: the sting of queen bees is completely different from that of other bees, whether they are nurses, workers, guardians, etc.
We can enclose the main differences in two different factors: appearance and functions.
In worker bees, the sting is serrated. This feature allows the workers to use it as a defense tool capable of penetrating the enemy's flesh and getting stuck in it. In fact, when bees use their sting, they do it exclusively to defend the hive since using this weapon leads them to death.
The sting of the queen bees, on the other hand, is not serrated but smooth. Its main function is related to egg laying . In other cases it is also used to duel with its rival in the challenge for the accession to the throne. It can therefore be said that the sting of the queens can be used both to give new life and as a lethal weapon.
Deposition of a very high number of eggs:
Being the only one out of about 60,000 individuals who can procreate, the queen must perform this task in a worthy way. When a queen is fertile, or after the famous nuptial flight, the latter is able to lay a huge number of eggs: about 1500 in a single day!
When the queen bee lays her eggs, she will already know the future sex of the larvae. The fertilized eggs will give birth to females, while the unfertilized eggs will give life to new drones.
Sovereigns almost never leave the hive
As good as a queen is in her role as sovereign, you should know that her physicality has some weaknesses. Queen bees are not very good at flying. Their wing muscles are not well trained and the queen is used to being spoiled and nourished by her workers, to the point that external life can represent a real danger. The sovereign never leaves the hive except for specific reasons, such as the nuptial flight in which she will fertilize and during the swarming in which, at the end of her task, the queen will leave her hive for good.
Jealousy among bees
The queen bees are very much protected than the worker bees. They get all kinds of benefits and care from the rest of the hive. This happens throughout their life and as the rulers begin to age, they will need to be replaced by new queen bees .
During this time, the worker bees begin to organize and shift their attention to the new births. During this phase, the queen bees become very nervous and try to attract the attention of their maids by any means. Jealousy of a new queen who will replace the current one, leads the old queens to keep the situation at bay with the production of pheromones.
Pheromones attract worker bees and divert their attention to the larvae, delaying their birth.
After some time, the pheromones produced by the queen are no longer enough to have the workers serve her, who act independently, no longer providing her with the attention of her when she was young and performing.
When the queen arrives at this situation, she will have to leave the hive in a short time through a phenomenon called: swarming.
Purchase queen bees
You can buy queen bees directly online by visiting the category Queen Bees
Apicoltura Laterza deals with the production and sale of virgin and fertile queen bees available in the Buckfast and Ligustica breed.
We ship throughout Italy and throughout Europe using professional and safe methods.
Want to find out more? Contact us for more information! We will be happy to answer all your questions or concerns.