Most by now have heard about how dangerously low the honey bee population is. As we depend on these beneficial insects to pollinate our crops, we have been doing what we can to prevent their extinction. If you discover a hive of honey bees on your property grounds, many professionals, such as A-Tex Pest Management will refer you to a beekeeper to come to your location to retrieve the hive and its members and relocate them to a safe location, where they can be preserved, and you don’t have to fear being stung or suffering from the allergic reactions that can potentially follow.
Honey Bee Society Organization
A rather fascinating attribute of honey bees is their social structure. Each member in their group serves a specific purpose and within a single colony, there can easily be up to 30,000 members. As well-organized insects, honey bees are born specifically for breeding or gathering nectar, others process the nectar, and there are some maintaining the hive. These tiny busy workers have communication tools used to increase the productivity of their hive mates.
Types of Bees in a Colony
The Workers: The most populated within the colony are the worker bees. These bees are equipped with features that allow them to perform their duties both inside and outside the hive; features include pollen baskets, brood food glands, and scent glands. Workers have plenty of responsibilities, they feed the brood, care for the queen, clean the hive, and guard the hive. Workers also keep the hive supplied with pollen, plant sap, and nectar they forage. Workers will help populate the colony in lieu of a healthy queen. Worker bees have a dance they use to communicate, by directing their team members to areas where flowers are plentiful and laden with pollen and nectar, they perform a waggle dance.
The Drones: Drones are the most actively seen during mating season. The drones are among the largest members of the hive. These bees do not have a stinger, nor do they have wax glands, or pollen baskets, as their primary purpose is fertilizing the eggs. Drones are sexually mature approximately a week after emerging from their cells. Being served large quantities of food they depend on from the workers, the drones prepare for their one-way mating mission. Drones will mate and die instantly after rendezvousing with a queen from another colony.
The Queen: The queen is the only sexually developed female in the colony, and her main purpose is to populate the hive. The peak production to lay eggs is in spring and early summer, where a queen can lay up to 1,500 eggs per day but from mid-October through the winter months the production slows down considerably to only a few eggs a day. In order to lay all of these eggs, the body is significantly longer than the others. Her productivity is typical until about 3 years of age, but they can live up to 5 years.
Reproduction: In addition to performing the reproductive role, the queen produces pheromones that unite the colony. In the event the queen dies, or is removed, or lost, the bees will select a new queen from the worker bee larvae. The queen candidate is hung vertically on the surface of the comb and provided large quantities of food. The queen will eventually emerge, and after a few days set off to mate; leaving the hive to do so. The queen will look for a drone from another hive and fly far enough to way to do so to avoid inbreeding. The queen releases pheromones, which the drones recognize the odor and will draw to the queen and mate high with her high in the air. When she can no longer replace any more eggs, or dies, or is lost, a new queen will replace her.
Stinging Insect Inspection, Removal & More in Round Rock, Leander, Pflugerville, Cedar Park & Austin Texas
When you discover stinging insects on your property, call A-Tex Pest Management for an inspection to determine whether bees or wasps have built a hive or nest on your property. If we find bees, we will refer you to a beekeeper to relocate them. If we find wasps, we will exterminate them and remove the nest to keep your loved ones safe.