The Life Cycle of a Honey Bee

The Life Cycle of a Honey Bee

The scientific name ‘Apis’ is Latin for ‘Bees’. Most of the European honey bees fall under ‘Apis Mellifera’ with ‘Mellifera’ being the Latin word for “honey-bearing”. The Life Cycle of a honey bee is important, especially if you are willing to start a bee farming business.

What is life cycle ?

All animals and humans go through different stages of their life as they grow and change. This is called a life cycle. 

The Honey Bee Life Cycle

The Life  cycle of Honey Bee mainly consists of 4 stages: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult.

The Egg Stage

  •  The first stage of physical development in the life cycle is the egg stage. The queen spends her life, after her mating flights laying eggs.
  • The queen determines each time, whether she will lay a fertilized or an unfertilized egg, based on the cell size Hatching.
  • She lays around 2,000 per day. Egg fertilization time fed on a diet yolk.
  • The egg normally occurs after three days from the egg being laid. 
Honey Bee egg

The Larva Stage

  •  Queens, drones and workers are all fed royal jelly for their after  three days as larva stage. That diet is then stopped for both workers and drones. Drone larvae grow larger than either workers or queens and, therefore require more food.
  • The food given older drone larvae also is higher in pollen content than that given older worker larvae.    
  • Finally, the worker bees cover the top of the cell with bee wax to protect and facilitate the transformation of the larvae into a pupa.
Honey Bee larva

The Pupa Stage

  • The bees within the capped cell starts taking a more recognizable bee form.
  • Here’s where things really begin to happen.The bees has developed parts like wings, eyes, legs and small body hair that physically appears close to an adult bee.
  •  Finally, the fine hairs that cover the bee’s body develop. After 12 days, the now adult bee chews her way through the wax capping to join her sisters and brothers.
Honey Bee pupa

The Adult stage

  • The queen bee takes 16 days from the egg stage to form into an adult.
  • The drone bees take 24 days to develop into an adult. 
  • The worker bee takes 21 days (range: 18–22 days)for complete development 
  • Now, All three castes of bees are now fully mature and they are ready to accomplish their biologically pre- determined tasks. 
Honey Bee Adult

Honey Bees Caste Distinction

  • The Life Cycle of Honey bees mainly consists of three types of bees: Queen Bees, Worker Bee, Drones Bees.
  • Average developmental period time: 16 days for queens, 21 days for worker bees and 24 days for drones.
Queen Bees
Worker Bees
Drones Bess
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Queen Bees

  • Queen bees and worker bees both hatch from unfertilized eggs. The only difference between these two bees is their feed. Special cells also are known as “Queen cups”.
  • Queen bees stay in the colony for about 10 days till the period of maturity. Once mature they go out on mating flights.
  • The queen is the ruler of the colony. She is always surrounded by workers whose principal function. Queens bees are responsible for producing and laying eggs, she is average a life span of two to five years and can lay around 200,000 eggs a year.

Worker Bees

  • Worker Bees are the infertile females developed from fertilized eggs.it is the number of workers that determine the strength of the hive end success of the honey bee farm.
  •  Worker bees can live up to 4-5 months through the winter.
  •  The worker bees maintain the beehive, keeping it clean and structurally sound.
  •  The Worker bees typically live 15-38 summer days. In the winter, changes in the bees physical body, specifically well, developed Hypopharyngeal glands and an increased supply of fat bodies, enable worker bees to live 140-320 days.

Drones Bees

  • Drones bees main purpose is to mate the Queen bees and fertilize the eggs.
  • Drones bees are males born in beehives that are highly populated. They don’t have stingers and can’t grass for food on their own. they will generally live around 5-7 weeks. They don’t grass or help with the production of honey in any way. But they do consume resources.
  • The drones spend their days flying out to drone fold areas in the early afternoon and flying home just before dark.

Who was the first beekeeper ?

  • The Moses Quinby was the first commercial beekeeper in the USA, with 1200 colonies by the 1840.
  • The first scientific successful beekeeper in India the West Bengal region in 1880. 

What is the Cost of Commercial Beekeeping in India ?

  • Beekeeping is now one of the best Agri-Business in India. Indian bees costs around Rs 2,000, while one of Italian bees costs Rs 7,500.
  • There are a number of factors for it. The bottom line is you can earn some good money in a real quick time. If the conditions are favorable, then you can never look back once you start Apiculture at Home.

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