Honey bee are social insects that lives together in a well organized group called colony. A honey bee colony typically consists of three kinds of adult bees: workers, drones, and a queen. If you have ever been attacked by bees, then it was the worker bee since they are responsible for protection.
Each colony consist of only one queen, about 20000 to 80000 worker bees and an average of 2000 drones (male bee)
The major function of a queen is producing pheromones that serve as a social “glue” unifying and helping to give individual identity to a bee colony. Hence, each bee can identify its colony even in presence of more than a hundred bee hives.
The queen lays more than 1500 eggs per day and 0.25 million annually. About one week after emerging from a queen cell, the queen leaves the hive to mate with several drones in flight. Because she must fly some distance from her colony to mate, she first circles the hive to orient herself to its location. She leaves the hive by herself and is gone approximately 13 minutes. The queen mates, usually in the afternoon, with seven to fifteen drones at an altitude above 20 feet. Drones are able to find and recognize the queen by her chemical odor (the pheromone). If bad weather delays the queen’s mating flight for more than 20 days, she loses the ability to mate and will only be able to lay unfertilized eggs, which result in drones.
Amazing fact is that the drone dies immediately after fertilizing the queen.
The worker bee flies more than 10 km in search of food, pollen grains and water. And if by any chance gets late and darkness comes in, it lands on any nearest shrub, tree or bush facing the direction of its destination and continues with the journey in the following morning.
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