Queen Bee Hatching into a Bottle


Honey Bee Picture Gallery

  1. Bee Pollinating Avocado Blossom

  2. A Honeybee Sitting on a Naked Lady

  3. Instrumentally Inseminating a Queen Bee

  4. Strange Drone Bee Mutations

  5. Beeing Intimate with a Flower

  6. A Cordovan Queen with Her Eggs

  7. Carniolan Bee on a Poppy

  8. Bee Making Orange Honey

  9. Honeybee Enjoying a Water Lily

  10. Honey Bee Taking a Sip of Water

  11. Italian Queen Bee Being Fed

  12. Queen Bee Hatching from a Queen Cell

  13. Apple Blossoms Pollinated by Honeybee

  14. Africanized Honeybee Queen

  15. Queen Bee being Marked and Clipped

  16. Varroa Sensitive Hygiene VSH Queen

  17. Honey Bee Queen Cells

  18. Bee Pollen and Bee Bread

  19. Multiple Bees Working a Camellia

  20. Queen Bee Introduction

  21. Grafting Queen Cells

  22. Honeybees and Gourd Art

  23. Ancient Egyptian Bee Hieroglyphics

Queen bee hatching

Queen bees are raised by a honeybee colony in special queen cells. This peanut shaped cell holds the queen until she is ready to hatch, about 16 days after her mother laid the egg. When she is ready, she chews her way out through the bottom and crawls out. Oddly enough, it takes longer, 21 days, for worker bees to develop, even though they are much smaller than a queen. But queens have a very good reason to develop more quickly, because often there are more than one queen being raised in a hive, and the first one to hatch will kill the others. So there is a very strong selection pressure to develop as fast as possible, only the earliest one out has a chance to pass their genes on to the next generation. This is one reason why Africanized honeybees have been so successful at taking over regions all the way from Brazil to the southern US. These queens develop about a day earlier than our European bees, so they are usually the victor in the battle to be the new queen in a colony. In the picture above, a beekeeper has hatched the queen out in a bottle to make sure she doesn't meet up with a sister queen and start a fight. From here she will be put in a cage and cared for by other bees. Later she will be artificially inseminated with sperm from disease resistant drones. Eventually she will become a breeder queen, one whose eggs will be used to raise many more disease resistant queens for the beekeeping industry. To learn more about how beekeepers make more queens take a look at this page about queen rearing.

Beginning beekeepers click here for information on getting started in beekeeping

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