There are three types of honeybee in every hive. They are:
The Queen - The only fertile female in a hive is a queen. There's only one queen per hive and she's responsible for laying all the eggs in the hive.
The Drones - Drones are male bees. There are only a few hundred drones in a beehive at a time and only in the summer.
The Workers - Workers are the unfertile females in the hive. At the peak of summer, there may be more than one hundred thousand workers in a hive.
When the queen begins to age, her daughters will take a few eggs and deposit them in specially-designed chambers called Queen Cells. When they hatch, these bee larva will be fed a special diet to turn them into queens. If one new Queen hatches first, she will use her stinger to kill the other queens. If the old queen is still alive and in the hive, the queens will fight until only one remains.
Male bees have one job—they fly out of the hive and search for a new Queen that's out for her mating flight. Drones only live for the summer. Every autumn, the drones are thrown out of the hive by their sisters as the workers plan for winter.
Worker bees that are born in the autumn are furrier than worker bees that are born in the spring. These bees are designed to survive the winter inside their hive!
Worker bees typically live for six to eight weeks in the summer. They often die because their wings are worn out. During the summer months, a honeybee will travel the equivalent of 1.5 times the circumference of the Earth.
To make a pound of honey, honeybees will visit approximately 2 million flowers.
Bees communicate by dancing. This communication, often called the "waggle dance" by beekeepers, is based on the location of the sun.
Bees maintain a steady temperature of approximately 92 degrees inside the beehive. In summer, bees will flap their wings outside the hive to create a breeze. In winter, bees will huddle together and vibrate their wing muscles (without flapping their wings) to generate heat.
Although drones are larger than worker bees, they are born without a stinger.
Honeybees pollinate approximately 80% of all the vegetables, fruit, and seed crops in the United States of America. The next time you see a bee, thank her for lunch!