A honey bee colony consists of three different types of bees. All three types of bees have their own unique jobs to fulfill to ensure that the colony survives and ensures a future for the colony. The three different types of bees are the worker, the drone, and the queen.
All three types of bees help to keep the colony running smoothly and without any one type of bee, the whole colony would not survive.
For this reason, bees are sometimes considered to be a super-organism. This term is used to describe bees, ants, and termites. The colony is considered to be a super-organism because all of the individual bees are working for the common good of the colony making the colony a single organism.
So what does each type of bee do? The worker bee is the smallest of the three types, and is also the most numerous. In the beginning of their adult life, the worker bee cares for the cells where the eggs are laid and also cares for the queen. Later in their life, normally about mid-summer, they begin foraging for pollen and nectar.
Drone bees are the largest bee and are all males. There are normally a couple hundred drones in the hive. They are only allowed in the hive during the spring and summer. Their main function in the hive is to fertilize the queen bee. In the fall and early winter, all drones are forced out of the hive and left out there to starve because they have no purpose in the hive during those months. More drones are born during the spring and then the process of fertilizing the queen starts over.
Lastly there is the queen bee.
Most people know about the queen bee, whose main function is producing eggs for the hive so that there are plenty of bees in the colony.
Each colony only has one queen bee. During peak production, a queen bee can lay close to 1500 eggs each day. The queen typically lays her eggs in the spring and early summer at the latest. A queen can lay over one million eggs in her lifetime! At Beehive Bow Ties, we donate money to help save the endangered bees that are so quickly disappearing from our planet.
Click here to learn more about the amazing honey bee!