Queen bee: how the queen looks and appears, the differences and who fertilizes

Queen bee: how the queen looks and appears, the differences and who fertilizes

The queen bee is a female insect that is capable of reproduction. This individual is characterized by well-developed genitals. At the same time, it can be easily distinguished from other insects. The queen is 2 times larger than the rest of the hive. Each bee colony has only one queen. The queen cannot stand competition, so she kills other females and becomes the only egg producer.

What the uterus looks like

The queen bee can be easily distinguished from other individuals. The female is born quite large. Adults also have significant differences from worker bees.The queen bee reaches a length of 2-2.5 centimeters - this is 1.5-2 times longer than ordinary working insects.

The features of the external and internal structure of the queen include the following:

  • Elongated torpedo-shaped torso. At the same time, the abdomen is much longer than the wings.
  • Eyes are smaller than other hive dwellers.
  • The internal structure is characterized by only one feature - well-developed ovaries.
  • The queen bee has a sting, however, unlike other bees, she can use it many times - this is not life threatening.

Queen bee functions

The queen bee performs the following functions in the hive:

  • lays eggs;
  • keeps the hive in order;
  • brings families together.

Ultimately, the queen bee affects the productivity of the whole family. Scientists believe that certain bee behaviors are credited to the queen bee.

Thanks to the pheromones that are released by the queen, insects have the same smell. On this basis, bees distinguish their individuals from strangers.

A place in the family

The whole life of the swarm revolves around the queen bee. The worker bees tend to their queen and feed her. The queen does not eat honey. She needs special food that contains a lot of proteins and lipids. Therefore, the queen bee feeds on royal jelly. There should be only one queen in the hive. If another female is taken from somewhere, then the queen herself or other bees destroy her.Drones are responsible for fertilizing the queen bee.


Depending on the breeding method, there are several varieties of queen bees. Swarm and fistulous individuals appear naturally. At the same time, a person can provoke the removal of the uterus of a quiet shift.


When a queen dies, the bees quickly notice the loss. At the same time, a hum arises in the hive, which resembles a howl. In this case, the insects begin to look for the queen. If their search does not lead to results, the insects begin to grow a new mistress of the hive. At the same time, they begin to feed the larvae only with royal jelly. This product has only been used for 2 days. Then the larvae are given a composition based on bee bread and honey.

After 16 days after fattening, about 20 queens are hatched. They kill each other with their stings.

As a result, the strongest individual survives. The uterus obtained in this way is called fistulous. Their disadvantage is the low level of egg laying.

Fistulous individuals develop in too small cells with a diameter of 5.5 millimeters, and not in special free queen cells with a diameter of 9 millimeters. Larvae can be thinned out by combining neighboring cells, but this process is considered to be very laborious. Because beekeepers rarely do it.


To breed such a queen, the queen cells are laid along the edges of the honeycombs. The base resembles a built-in bowl. The female lays her eggs in it. They are subsequently cared for by bees who are familiar with the rearing process. The number of swarm queen cells varies. As a rule, it is 10-20.

The disadvantage of swarming individuals is the presence of the so-called swarming gene. In such a situation, there is a threat that the colony will have a tendency to swarm.

Quiet Exchange

In this case, the old queen is quietly preparing a replacement for herself. She lays her eggs in special cells and continues to lead a quiet life. In this case, the bees are doing their usual things. After 16 days, a new queen bee appears, which immediately kills its parent.

Quiet shift uterus is displayed in such cases:

  • the situation is planned by the beekeeper;
  • the queen bee is old or sick.

Quiet shift queens are of the highest quality. They are considered the most worthy hive mistresses.

Who fertilizes the uterus

The queens are fertilized by drones. They inject sperm into the paired oviducts of the uterus. During mating, several million spermatozoa accumulate, which are stored in the queen bee's seminal receptacle for her entire life.

Sperm is present in the seminal vesicles of drones. When mating, it penetrates under pressure into a special channel, and from there it enters the paired oviducts. The movement of matter is provided by mucus, which is secreted by the accessory glands of drones.

The uterus needs a specific amount of sperm - 5-7 million. If for 1 flight the queen does not receive the required amount of sperm, then the process is repeated. In the absence of mating within 1 month, the queen loses her ability to do so. As a result, the uterus becomes drone and stops flying out.

Mating and insemination are considered separate processes. During the mating flight, the uterus only receives spermatozoa, which are subsequently used to fertilize the eggs. Queens and working individuals emerge from them. In this case, the drone appears from an unfertilized egg.

Maximum activity of the uterus in the production of offspring is observed during the first two years. After that, the number of eggs decreases. The process starts later and ends earlier. At the same time, more and more eggs remain unfertilized. In such a situation, the queen bee needs to be replaced.


The life cycle of the uterus is 5-8 years. Fetal females actively lay eggs during the first two years, after which their productivity decreases markedly. When the sperm supply runs out, the queen will start laying unfertilized eggs, which will spawn drones.

Bees change the queen in advance to maintain the intensity of reproduction of offspring. In industrial production, the annual replacement of queen bees is practiced. Thanks to this, the breeding of insects becomes more profitable. This approach is considered reliable swarm prevention.

What to do if the uterus dies

When the uterus dies, you have to change it to a new one. This uses different methods:

  • The bee family does the replacement on their own. After the loss of a dominant individual, the colony becomes restless. In just a few hours, the bees begin to build cells to obtain a new individual. However, for its cultivation, insects require eggs that are laid in the hive.Maturation occurs 16 days after the eggs are laid.
  • Growed from the larva. In this case, the beekeeper places closed fruit combs in the hive. Honey and pollen are added there. After about 1 hour, pre-diluted larvae are placed in the combs. New queen bees are born after 2 weeks.
  • An artificially grown queen is introduced. In this case, the beekeeper acquires a ready-made female, which is grown artificially.

The queen bee is an important individual, without which it is impossible to breed insects. The queen is responsible for the reproduction of the bees, so the workers take care of her and provide food.

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