Brightwell Bees

Honey, candles and other products from our hives in  Oxfordshire and Berkshire

Honeybee on pink flower

The Queen bee

What a special insect ! The egg which is destined to be the queen, is identical to the eggs which typically develop into worker bees. The transformation takes place when worker nurse bees feed the young larva with a very rich royal jelly diet - this triggers  its development into a queen.


She develops in a special queen cell which is far larger than worker bee cells, and it hangs down in the hive.


When the queen emerges from her pupa, she is a little larger than her sister worker bees. Also her anatomy has subtle differences – her sting is not barbed as she may have to sting other sister queen cells to ensure that she is “the one” – as there can only be a single queen heading the colony.


Within her first four weeks of life, she flies outside the hive to mate with several male drones from other colonies. She can live for 3-4 years, and incredibly, she never mates again. She lays over a thousand eggs per day at peak in the spring. She will continue to lay eggs for most of the year, although during the depths of winter, only a few eggs are laid each day.


Read about the other bees in the hive, the worker bee and the drone bee.


A queen cell

This young queen bee is marked in green

Where to buy...

Find out where to buy all our products from our hives in Oxfordshire and  Berkshire here.

Copyright © Viv and Steve Moll Brightwell Bees 2009 - 2020

Worker bee The Queen bee About the honey bee Drone bee How bees make wax Defending the hive Swarms Queen Queen cell_1_1