home | summer garden | butterfly garden


Honeybees are bees that make and store honey. There are three categories of honeybees in a hive: queen, workers, and drones. Both workers and queens are female bees. The queen cannot sting because her "stinger" has been modified to lay eggs. Workers cannot lay eggs because their egg sac has been replaced with a venom sac. Drones are males.  The honeybee lifecycle is complex. Eggs are laid within a honeycomb cell. Drones (males) develop from unfertilized eggs and queens and workers from fertilized eggs. Larvae are fed first with royal jelly then with pollen. A queen bee larva is selected and is fed royal jelly throughout her larval stage, allowing different development. It takes visits to 2 million flowers to produce 1 pound of honey.

Photo from Lesley Ingram, Bugwood.org: Close-up of honeybee getting pollen from and blending in with a yellow flower. Photo from Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org: Close-up of a honeybee on a small purple flower