Some biz about bees |

Some biz about bees

Staff report
Wild bees, including bumblebees like this one, are becoming increasingly important to the agricultural business.
Jamie Strange/Courtesy photo

Everyone’s heard of the queen bee, sure, but who else makes up a hive? A honeybee colony typically consists of three kinds of adult bees: workers, drones, and a queen. Several thousand worker bees cooperate in nest building, food collection, and brood rearing.

A colony normally has a single queen and several hundred drones during late spring and summer.


There can only be one in each hive. Her role is to lay the eggs that will produce the hive’s next generation of bees.


These are male bees who are to mate with the queen. Their lifespan is typically spring through summer. In winter, when the hive goes into survival mode, the drones are kicked out.


These are the smallest of the bees in the hive and constitute the majority of bees occupying the colony. They are sexually undeveloped females and, under normal hive conditions, do not lay eggs.

Bee Facts

  • Over 20,000 known bee species in the world, and 4,000 of them are native to the United States. 
  • Bees have 5 eyes.
  • Bees are insects, so they have 6 legs.
  • Bees fly about 20 mph.
  • Number of eggs laid by queen: 2,000 per day is the high.
  • Bees hatch within three days.
  • Queens fight amongst themselves after hatching until only one remains alive.
  • The old queen and her workers will desert the hive by the time the new queens emerge.