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Bee Development

bee-life.pngfotolia-12279031-xs.jpgThe first stage in the development of a bee occurs when the queen deposits a single fertilized (worker) or unfertilized (drone) egg into the brood cell at the bottom of the hive. The brood cell of drone is larger than worker. After three days, the egg hatches to become a tiny larva, lying at the bottom of the cell and fed regularly by nurse bees. After successive stages of growth, the larva completely covers the floor of the cell, and changes position, stretching out along the depth of the cell. When the larva is fully grown and no longer needs to be fed, house worker bees cap its cell with a thin layer of wax. The cap of a brood cell shows a slight protuberance, while the cap of a honey-storage cell is flat.

At this stage, the larva henceforth called "sealed brood; spins a cocoon around itself and begins to pupate, i.e. to shed its last larval integument and differentiate into a pupa. Finally, transformed into an adult, it slowly chews its way out of the cell. The complete metamorphosis from a newlylaid egg to an emerging adult worker bee requires a total of 21 days : 3 as an egg, 6 as a larva, and 12 as a pupa. For a drone, it requires 24 days (three days longer). Emerging drones are fed on honey and royal jelly until they are about a week old. Their flight activity begins when they are from 6 - 8 days old and sexually mature when aged from 12 - 14 days.

Queen Bee
Worker Bee
Worker Bee's Hind Leg
Queen Bee Lay Eggs
Honey Comb
Pollen Cell
Queen Bee's Cell
Drone Bee's Cell
Worker Bee's Cell