A queen may live for up to 4 years but will typically be replaced by the beekeeper after 2 years.
Three types of honey bee (queen, drone and worker bee) make up a colony, each has a characteristic size.
A colony normally contains only one queen, a few hundred drones and up to 60,000 worker bees.
Worker bees are normally sterile, so reproduction is left to the queen and the drones.
A queen can lay as many as 2,000 eggs per day during the height of main egg-laying season.
The worker bee progresses through several task-related life stages, from brood care and hive maintenance through to foraging duties.
After mating with several different drones, the queen lays eggs in brood cells prepared by worker bees. If the cells are small, the queen releases fertilized eggs. From these, worker bees will develop. In larger cells, the queen lays unfertilized eggs from which male drones develop.
Bee health is a complex issue.
Honey bees will forage in a radius of up to 3 to 4 km from the hive. That’s the same as humans traveling around 2,500 km for food.
One third of all plants consumed by humans, including foods such as fruit, veg and nuts depend, to varying extents on insect pollination?
The total economic value worldwide of insect pollination is estimated to be at least 150 billion EUR annually.
Bee pollen is richer in proteins than any other animal source. It contains more amino acids than beef, eggs or cheese of equal weight.