The Book of Six © Six Facts About the Queen Bee

Lara Rose, M. Aster, and Bob Allen

Lara Rose, M. Aster, and Bob Allen

We had a nice afternoon visiting Bob and Judy Allen who took the time to teach me, my 3 kids and 2 of their friends about bees.  Best yet, we got to tour inside the hive.

All the ruckus of five kids, their dog barking and running about, and me in awe with the sweet touches Judy had in her garden,  did not bother the bees one bit. Makes me want bees sooner than later.

There’s a lot to be learned about bees.  Here’s what we found out about the queen bee.

  1. The queen bee is fertilized in flight; the only time she is out of the hive.
  2. During this time, she will be fertilized by 10 – 15 drones.
  3. In a given day, a queen can lay her weight in eggs.
  4. The queen is fed by her workers.  She is so busy laying eggs, she doesn’t have the time or energy to eat herself.
  5. In one day, a queen will lay one egg per minute, day and night, 24 hours a day, or about 200,000 eggs a year.
  6. A queen can live up to 2 years while her workers will only live for about 6 weeks.

There is only one queen in a hive.  She is much bigger than the other bees with a prolonged abdomen.

It’s not easy being queen…once her workers notice a slowing in her egg-laying pace, they will choose a recently laid egg to become the next queen.

Thank you Bob and Judy!

Hive

More bee facts
Book of Six © Six Facts About Worker Bees

Copy and photos by Helen Yoest

Helen Yoest is a garden writer and coach through her business Gardening With Confidence Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenYoest and her Facebook page, the Gardening With Confidence fan page. Helen also serves on the board of advisors for the JC Raulston Arboretum.

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5 Comments »

  1. Janet said

    You are right, it’s not easy being Queen! ;-) Interesting post Helen.

  2. We’d love to have hives here, but there are already two feral hives on our neighbor’s property so we get a garden full of honeybees. They are very docile and I work inches away from them in the garden.

    Cameron

  3. You should know Janet – LOL H.

  4. Hey C. We either have feral hives around or bee keepers, as well, since we have so many honey bees. I love them and want to keep bees. I just like what they do, not so much into extracting the honey. Yes, they are docile, but there are some maintenance projects that I have to do before they are up. I refer to these tasks as Up Before The Bees tasks…less I make them mad. When we came back from Spain after being gone a month, an Ampelopsis brevipedunculata over took the fig. The honey bees LOVE it, but it had to go. There were so many bees, there was not way I could get near it. I had to remove it over a 3 day period by getting up before the bees. H.

  5. Fascinating facts, Helen. I had a huge number of bees in my garden this summer, drawn to drink every day at my stock-tank pond since the drought has dried up whatever other water source they were using.

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