Everything you ought to know about the Life Cycle of Honey Bee

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After mating, the queen generally lays one egg in one brood cell. The eggs are pinkish colored, elongated cylindrical body, generally attached to the bottom of the cell. Larvae emerge out from both the fertilized as well as unfertilized eggs.

Thus the larvae from the unfertilized egg from the drones while the workers are developed from the larvae of the fertilized eggs. Amongst the larvae of the workers one is fed on the royal jelly, a special diet secreted by the young workers in the colony and becomes the queen of the colony.

The royal jelly consists of digested honey and pollen, mixed with a glandular secretion into the mouth of the workers. After 5 days of feeding the cells is sealed and the larvae undergo pupation. It spins a thin silken cocoon and pupates completely.

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Emergence of the young ones takes after the three weeks and they get busy in the indoor duties for about 2 to 3 weeks. Later on, they are sent for the outdoor duties. All the bees pass through a completely metamorphosis with the various changes in the life-cycle taking place within the comb.

Swarming:

The process of leaving of the colony by the queen termed as swarming. It happens towards the end of spring or early summer but the reason of swarming is still not well known. In summers when plenty of food is available and hive is overcrowded by the bees, the queen leaves the hive on a fine noon with some old drones and workers and establishes a new colony at some other place. Now in the old hive a worker is given Royal Jelly and is converted into a new queen of the colony. This new empress of the colony never tolerates her successor, as natural law on the hive. So she orders to kill the other sisters, if any, in the hive.

Supersedure:

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When the egg laying capacity of the old queen is lost or it suddenly dies, a new young and vigorous queen takes the position of the old queen and is called supersedure.

Absconding:

The migration of the complete colony from one place to another takes place due to some unfavorable conditions of life, such as destruction of comb by termites or wax moths and scarcity of nectar producing flowers around the hive. This phenomenon is quite different from that of swarming.

Nuptial or Marriage Fight:

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The first swarm is led by the old queen but the second swarm is led by the 7 days old virgin queen which is followed by the drones and is called marriage fight. One of the drones starts copulating with the queen in the sky, fertilizes the queen, and dies during the course of copulation. The queen receives spermatophore and stores in the spermatheca. Along with the queen, died drone falls on the ground and the queen reaches the hive.

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