The Bee Biology Fast Facts for Today!

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July 25, 2017 by KathyMay

When you attend the 2017 Philadelphia Honey Festival on September 7, 9, or 10 – you will have a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the inhabitants of a honey bee hive.  At that time of year, a healthy hive is preparing for winter.  Their population can be upwards of 50,000 bees!  Almost all those bees will be female – or workers.  Only a handful – maybe 500-1000 will be male bees or drones.  And of course, there is only ONE queen.  (You may not see her.)  Photo: @addisongearyphoto

Here are your Bee Biology Fast Facts for Today!

THE QUEEN:

* Will live normally between 1 and 4 years.

* Consumes royal jelly provided by the workers

* Has a non-barbed stinger

* Without a queen, the colony will eventually die

* Develops in 16 days, from egg to emergence from the queen cell

THE WORKERS:

* Worker are all females.

* Can number between 40-60,000 in a strong hive.

* Performs a multitude of tasks to include: Tending to the queen, feeding larvae, feeding

drones, nectar ripening, producing heat, collecting water, house cleaning guard duty,

field collection of pollen and nectar, to list a few.

* Will die if she stings. Has a barbed stinger that if left behind after stinging.

* Will live 6-8 weeks in the summer, working until her wings give out.

* Will live 4-6 months in winter when not actively working/foraging.

* Develops in 21 days from egg to emergence.

THE DRONES:

* Sole responsibility is fertilization.

* Leaves hive for 2-3 hours each day.

* Has no stinger

* If the workers stopped feeding them, they would die of starvation.

* Develops in 24 days from egg to hatching to emergence.

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