Honey Bee Life Cycle
Having a steady awareness of the honey bee life cycle is incredibly important for several beekeeper duties. One of the most important being understanding timelines with queenlessness and queen replacement. The timeline of eggs, larvae, and pupae, are different between the three types of bees in the hive: worker bees (female, majority of the population), drone bees (male, population varies depending on time of year and hive factors), and the queen bee (master egg layer-hopefully).
A chart on the specific days of development is lower on this page in the photo gallery.
Here is one of my splendid queens, soak up her glory and majesty! So graceful and intelligent! Actually... I hate to burst your bubble, but queens are not all you may think they are! Queen bees do not rule with an iron fist, but in reality she works nonstop laying approximately 1,500 eggs per day. Worker bees have the ability to "overthrow" unsatisfactory queens (usually elderly queens) with a young queen.
In order to keep track of queens and how old they are, many beekeepers use the practice of marking queens. In this technique, beekeepers use a marker and literally "mark" the queen on her thorax (back). The color of the marker used depends on the year. For example, a queen that was born in 2022 would receive a yellow mark. The coloring system is universal among all beekeepers.
For so work the honey bees, creatures that by a rule in nature, teach the act of order to a peopled kingdom.