Three Types of Bees

3caste

Worker

Worker bees are the smallest of the species, about half the weight of the queen and the drones

It takes a worker bee 21 days to develop from an egg to an adult.

The duties of the worker bees are many and varied. They keep the hive clean, take care of the brood (eggs and larvae) such as feeding them royal jelly, attend the queen, maintain the temperature of the hive by fanning their wings, secret wax and build combs, guard the hive, and perform the all-important job of collecting nectar and pollen.

During late spring, summer and fall, a worker bee will live only about 6 weeks. During winter, they live 4-5 months, taking care of the queen and keeping her warm.

The principle form of communication among honey bees is through chemicals called pheromones. They also communicate by vibration.

Bees are deaf to most sounds, and they are mute.

Worker bees alert other bees to nectar and pollen sources by doing a “waggle” dance, which explains direction and distance. If the source is within 100 meters of the hive, the bees dance is in a circular shape. If it is further away than 100 meters, they dance a figure 8.waggle-dance

Queen

The bee hive is made up of the queen (usually only one per hive), drones (from 2 – 300 individuals), and workers bees(between 10,000 – 100,000, depending on the season).
The queen is the largest bee in the hive.
It takes the queen bee 16 days to develop from an egg to a queen.
She produces special glandular secretions called “queen substance“, which is a pheromone used to hold the colony together and stimulates the workers to maintain the hive.
Queens mate one time in their life with 6-8 drones over a 2-7 day period. She must be at least 20 meters in the air to mate.
She lays her own weight in eggs every day in summer, from 1,500 2,400 eggs per day.  In her lifetime, she can lay over 600,000 eggs.
Queen bees can live more up to six years, but her usual lifespan in a hive is two years.
The queen is fed by the worker bees, and eats up to 80 times her weight daily.

Drones

Drones are the males of the species. They are recognizable by their very large eyes.
It takes a drone bee 24 days to develop from an egg to an adult.
Their only purpose in life, and only job in the hive, is to mate with the queen.
Drones have no sting.
They die when they mate, or if they have not mated by the beginning of winter, the workers kick them out of the hive where they are left to die.