Honey bees need a good residence to flourish and they never bear any offensive conduct. If you are new to the...
How Do Your Bees Reproduce?
Honey bees are interesting creatures and yet are very less talked about. And so, knowing anything at all about them is very scarce. So, today, let us see about the most important and beautiful process of reproduction in honey bees. Here is a brief light on how do your bees reproduce.
The Role of the Queen –
A queen has the most important role in reproduction as she is the only one that helps the colony to survive and has the ability to do so. The oviducts in the queen hold sperm from mating, which is around 100 million sperm. She collects sperm as much as that can last for her lifetime (around 4 years). The sperm she collects uses immediately for fertilizing the eggs.
The Mating Process –
When the queen is around six to sixteen days old, she takes a flight and meets around a thousand suitors for mating. Among all these, she chooses ten to twenty drones (male bees) for the mating process. The mating process of the honey bees takes place in mid-air, and with a single drone at a time.
The drone (male bee) flies over the queen and positions himself in such a way that his thorax is exactly above the queen’s abdomen. The drone’s appendage is called an endophallus. He protrudes his endophallus and inserts it in the sting chamber of the queen. During this process, the endophallus flips and secretes sperm. This entire process just takes around five seconds, and when done, the drone disengages causing the endophallus to be ripped from this body. This act usually means killing the drone in the process.
The Egg Production Process –
The queen starts laying eggs right after she is back from her journey of mating. She has only one purpose in her life to produce and fertilize eggs, so she starts with it immediately.
· The Laying Process
The queen is quite organized and lays her eggs next to each other in the respective cells of the frame or wild. She selects the center frame for laying her eggs, and then covers them lightly with the royal jelly. The queen is capable of laying as much as 2000 eggs in a day. But this capacity slows down with age, and this is when the other bees find a replacement queen for their hive.
· Larvae Transformation Phase
After three days of laying the egg, it develops into a larva, and all major systems start forming in it. The type of the bee is decided on whether the bee fertilizes the egg or not. If the queen decides to fertilize the egg, then it is a worker bee or the queen, or else it turns into the drone.
· Leaving the Cells and Taking Flight
The queen bee takes only 16 days for her flight, whereas the workers take 21 days for exiting the cell and taking the flight. The drones are the last to leave the hive and take around 24 days before they make an exit.
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