Animal Behavior

Behavioral Ecology

What is the role of the queen bee in a honeybee society?

A honeybee society is made up of a single queen, a few male drones, and up to 80,000 female workers. The queen is the only female in the hive capable of reproduction, and she can lay as many as 1,000 eggs in a single day. While the queen’s job is solely to lay eggs, the workers’ jobs change over time. Young workers serve as nurses to the larvae that develop from the eggs; older workers serve first as hive builders and then as foragers. And the males? Their job is to fertilize the new queens.


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