Role of Queen honeybee in the Beehive
The queen honeybee plays a crucial role in the hive as the reproductive and reproductive leader. Here are the main roles and responsibilities of the queen bee:
- Egg Laying: The primary role of the queen bee is to lay eggs. She is the only fertile female in the colony and can lay hundreds or even thousands of eggs per day. The queen is responsible for populating the hive with new bees to ensure its growth and survival.
- Pheromone Production: The queen bee produces various pheromones that help regulate the behavior and development of the other bees in the colony. One of the essential pheromones she emits is the queen pheromone, also known as queen substance or queen mandibular pheromone. This pheromone helps maintain the unity and harmony of the colony and inhibits the development of new queen bees.
- Hive Regulation: The queen bee plays a role in hive regulation. She inspects the cells where eggs are laid and can remove or destroy any eggs that are not properly developed or that she deems unfit. By doing so, she helps maintain the overall health and quality of the colony.
- Reproduction: The queen bee is responsible for mating with drones from other colonies during her nuptial flight. During mating, she stores the sperm from multiple drones in a specialized organ called the spermatheca. This stored sperm is then gradually released to fertilize eggs throughout her life.
- Colony Succession: As the queen bee ages or if the colony becomes overcrowded, the workers may prepare to replace her. They will select a few young larvae and feed them a special diet called royal jelly, which triggers their development into potential queens. These potential queens will fight each other until only one remains, ensuring the succession of the hive’s leadership.
The queen honeybee’s presence and reproductive capabilities are crucial for the survival and growth of the hive. Her pheromones and leadership influence the behavior and development of the worker bees, contributing to the overall harmony and success of the colony.