3 Types Of Queen Bees, Which is best, Two Queen Bee Colony

Bees are insects that are found in almost all corners of the planet. During the existence of bees, clear rules and laws of behavior, special roles, social roles, and responsibilities have been formed. But one of the key representatives of the family of specific species of bees is always the queen bee. Let’s discuss types of queen bees, are functions and characteristics, and also what is double or two bee colony.

3 Types Of Queen Bees, Characteristic , Two Queen Bee Colony

Table of Contents

Queen Bees Characteristics And Description

The queen bee is the real queen of the hive because one of the key functions falls on her shoulders reproduction. In the absence of special fetal eggs, from which queen bees appear, the swarm will inevitably die. The new queen emerges from an egg that was sown by her predecessor. It is placed in a special bowl attached to the honeycomb. Further, when the larva appears, it is plentifully fed with bee milk, which contains nutrients and useful substances. Soon the larva becomes a pupa.


The mother liquor is removed, but food for the queen bee is preliminarily laid in it the milk itself. During this time, the bowl is rebuilt by worker bees into a mother liquor. On the 16th day, the queen appears after chewing the queen cell, she gets out already a full-fledged queen of the hive.

What does queen bee look like?

It is not difficult to distinguish a queen bee from worker bees, this can be done by size and shape. Its elongated body can reach sizes of 20-25 mm, and the belly, unlike ordinary individuals, extends beyond the wings. There is also a stinger, however, this is used to protect against other queens.

What does queen bee look like

Smaller eyes. The weight is 0.025 g (or 0.02 g if the queen bee is infertile), although many depend on breed and age. Also, note that queen bees can be:

  • fetal (sowing with worker bees);
  • barren ( they sow drones ).

Expert opinion

The sting that the queen has, she can use repeatedly it will not harm her in any way and will not lead to death.

Main functions of Queen Bee

The queen is a key link in the functioning and existence of the hive. She is responsible for the continuation of the family, control over the bees, she not only unites them but also calms them if they feel danger. In order to understand how important all this is, you need to know about the structure of society in the hive.

So, in the family, there are male and female individuals, i.e. worker bees, drones, queen bees. Only the latter can continue the race because the rest of the reproductive system is underdeveloped. They are able to collect pollennectar, build honeycombs, but cannot lay eggs. In the queens, unlike them, the length of the proboscis is half that, and the wax glands do not function, so she cannot do anything except lay eggs. On average, one queen bee can lay 1,500 eggs per day.


The queens is very slow, phlegmatic and calm. They rarely leave the hive, and then only to mate or during swarming .

Types of Queen Bees and Classification

The queen bee can be of different types. And if some appear naturally, then in order to bring out, for example, the queen of a quiet shift, the beekeeper must make certain efforts.

Emergency queen bee

Such queens appear only in emergency cases for example, if the previous queen disappeared without leaving a successor, or died. The insects, sensing the loss rather quickly, do their best to find a new queen. A whistle and a rumble rise up in the hive due to intense unrest. In order to quickly find a new queen, the bees begin to intensively feed all the larvae with a large amount of royal milk often they are given it only for 2 days, and then transferred to a special mixture of pollen and honey. While the queen is given it for all 16 days.

Due to increased feeding, dozens of new queens appear within 20-30. Having appeared, they immediately begin to kill each other with the help of stings until there is only one left she will have to take the vacant place.

Important ! The main disadvantage of emergency queen bee (and they are also called rescue) queens is low egg production, which is why they are often replaced with swarm queens or silent shift queens. This is explained by the fact that their development takes place in tight cells (about 5 mm, while ordinary queens develop in a 10 mm mother liquor).

swarm queen bee

They are bred when the hive becomes too large and it becomes necessary to form a new swarm. There are a number of signs by which you can determine the imminent appearance of swarm queens, for example, the colony does not grow larvae or does not build new combs. Tellingly, the swarm queen liquor contains several cells with new queens, and therefore there can also be several swarms. After the appearance of the queen of their mother liquor, the swarm leaves the colony, even if it is infertile.

  • A bee colony without a queen is doomed to die.
  • The queen releases pheromones to be recognized by the bees.
  • The queen bee is the basis of the bee family.
  • The queen mother is slow and always surrounded by her retinue.

Quiet Change of Queen: best queen bee

These are the most persistent, strongest, and best queens. They may appear if:

  • the old Queen bee is very old or sick;
  • the beekeeper provided the necessary conditions for its appearance.

At first, the queen independently and quietly lays an egg in a cell specially designated for this. She then goes on with her normal life and waits for the arrival of a new queen, usually after 16 days. The young successor immediately kills the old queen bee and takes her place. Such queen bees are considered the highest quality, they are able to create a very strong swarm.

Development of the Queen bee

Among the many features of the development of the queen bee, it is worth highlighting the following:

  • it can only appear from fetal eggs;
  • after the appearance, the young queen, first of all, makes the first flight for mating (after fertilization by a drone, she will be ready to lay eggs of worker bees);
  • in the absence of fetal eggs, the entire swarm dies, because it cannot bring out the queen bee;
  • if the queen bee is emergency / swarming, then after the appearance it also fights with competitors;
  • only a fetal individual is able to lay a fetal egg;
  • the most important period in the development of the future queen is from 7 to 16 days, when active growth and the formation of the reproductive system take place;
  • despite the fact that the queen lays the egg, the care of it falls on the shoulders of ordinary bees;
  • during the first few days after the appearance, the queen bee is infertile, i.e., it is unable to lay eggs .

Conclusion and pairing

After emerging from the egg, the queen bee can mate already on the seventh day of life. To do this, she carries out the first flights (as already noted above), during which she is fertilized by drones. If the queen fails to mate in a month of flights, then she becomes a tinder.

Pay attention ! All queen bees can be fertile (lay eggs of worker bees) and tinder (lay eggs of drones). Both varieties of eggs are essential to the life of the swarm.

If the conditions are good and there is enough food, then the queen lays from 1500 to 2000 eggs per day (the egg-laying will weigh about the same as the queen herself). During the season, about 150,000 are produced. Typically, during laying, the queen bee conducts a thorough examination of each cell, and if any defects are found there (pollution, for example, or bumps), then she will not lay an egg there but will move to the next cell.

Table. Schedule for hatching queen bees.

LifetimeWhat’s happening
7th dayQueen liquor sealing
16th dayAn infertile individual appears
After 3-5 days in the hiveFirst flyby
After 7 days in the hivenuptial flight
After 2 weeks in the hiveIt becomes possible to determine the quality of the queen.

Queen bee replacement rules

Usually, the queen bee is changed every two to three years (its life expectancy is 5 years). The main reasons for replacement include aging and poor seeding (a small number of eggs in the cells). If the hive is multi-hull, then the queen is changed once a year, since only the strong and young are able to lay the largest number of eggs per day.

Replacing the queen bee is a rather complicated matter, because the family may simply not accept someone else’s. Before planting another queen, the beekeeper must provide special conditions and find the right moment for this. For example, remove the old one and leave the colony for some time without a queen (for a maximum of several hours, otherwise the cultivation of emergency queen bee will begin). And then you can plant a new queen from another family.

Double or Two queen bee colony

Let’s make a reservation right away that the two-queen content is a controversial issue because in nature there is only one queen bee in the family. If a second one appears, then a strong individual will inevitably kill a weak one. But sometimes beekeepers manage to ensure that 2 queens are kept in the family, due to which the size of the family doubles or triples. And this, in turn, allows you to pump more honey to the main honey collection (up to 40 kg per family every week).

Let’s consider the pros and cons of a two-queen content in multi-hull hives.


  • increase in honey collection;
  • increased activity of bees;
  • increase in sowing;
  • reduction of feed consumption in winter ( mutual heating ).


  • difficulty in preventing swarming;
  • deterioration of ventilation ;
  • heavy and bulky hives;
  • the need to parse the entire structure when viewing the framework ).

FAQs Questions & Answers About

What is the function of the queen bee in the hive?

The main function of the queen is oviposition. Each family has only one fetal individual. Insects carefully take care of their parent, reliably protect her. She even has her own “retinue” that provides her with royal jelly.

How to distinguish the queen from other bees?

It is not difficult to distinguish a queen bee from worker bees, this can be done by size and shape. Its elongated body can reach sizes of 20-25 mm, and the belly, unlike ordinary individuals, extends beyond the wings. There is also a sting, however, it is used to protect against other queens.

What is the life expectancy of the fetal queen bee?

The queen can live for 5 years, but it is impractical to keep her that long for honey production. It is advisable to replace it after two years with a new one since sowing decreases after this time.

What happens if the queen bee does not fly around?

If she does not do this, then drone seeding will appear. And this will mean that the family is doomed to death.

Is it possible to get a fertilized queen bee without mating with drones?



As you can see, the queen bee plays a major role in any hive. With knowledge of the matter, the withdrawal of the queen bee does not cause any difficulties, it is only important to adhere to the indicated scheme then you will be able to breed an individual from scratch. How much honey you can collect depends on the queen and the types of queen bees. If you know how to properly handle the queen bee, then you can significantly increase the productivity of the apiary.