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Honeybees: Sexes and Castes. b y Chris Ragg. Castes. In any honeybee hive, there are three different castes of bee: Queen, Drone, and Worker. Castes. In any honeybee hive, there are three different castes of bee: Queen, Drone, and Worker. Workers.

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Presentation Transcript
castes
Castes
  • In any honeybee hive, there are three different castes of bee: Queen, Drone, and Worker.
castes1
Castes
  • In any honeybee hive, there are three different castes of bee: Queen, Drone, and Worker.
workers
Workers
  • The worker bees make up the majority of the hive.
  • If you’ve ever been stung by a honeybee, it’s been a worker.
  • They’re the ones who go collect the pollen and nectar that make honey.
  • All workers are female.
workers1
Workers

Notice all the pollen that’s stuck to the bee’s torso. That’s how she’ll transport it back to the hive!

queens
Queens
  • The queen is the most important bee of the hive, because she lays all the eggs.
  • As brood, worker bees can be made into queens by eating lots of lots of Royal Jelly, which is secreted from the heads of worker bees. Weird!
  • Sometimes, queens will lay up to 2,000 eggs per day!
  • The queen is the longest bee in the hive, and has a little black jewel just behind her head.
queens1
Queens

Ain’t she beautiful?

drones
Drones
  • Drones are the only males in the hive.
  • Drones are also the only honeybees that don’t have stingers.
  • The drones are essentially male concubines for the queen—they exist only so a virgin queen can have sex with them.
  • If food stores get low, sometimes worker bees will drag the drones outside and let them die, rather than feed them their precious remaining honey.
drones1
Drones
  • The drone is bigger than the worker bees around him but, without a stinger, considerably less harmful.
  • Drones are, in a way, the outcasts of the hive.
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Of course, all three kinds of bees are necessary for a hive to thrive and, if possible, reproduce and split into a second hive.