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How many eggs does the queen lay in one day?

Hi all

Recently someone mentioned in another post that they read a queen can lay up to 3000 eggs per day.

I have never heard this, only up to 2000 and did a quick Google search. Seven of the entries on the first page said up to 2000, but one said up to 2500.


Does anyone have a source for 3000 and are there special conditions for that, e.g. a certain strain?

best wishes

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Hi Joe, I read 3,000 once & it stuck in my mind. Wikipedia says 1500.

Let’s do some maths. Say the queen lays 4 eggs per minute. With 1440 minutes in a 24 hr. period, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for a queen to lay 3,000 eggs in a day, that brings it back to around 2 eggs a minute.

This is all wholly dependent on the colonies ability to prepare the cells for her to lay in. Also the colonies ability to provide food & feed the larvae after the eggs hatch.


Hi Jeff

Does anyone know if the queen can lay non-stop, if she has the most supportive conditions?

It would seem to me that she would rest some.

best wishes

Bees do sleep so the queen does not lay nonstop.

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Hiya Brother, this article presents a case for ‘at least 3000 eggs per day.’

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I believe that I have seen @Michael_Bush write 3,000 eggs per day as a maximum. :blush:

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“As the queen is capable of adapting the sex of the eggs to the cells, so she is also able to adapt the number of eggs to the requirements of the stock, and to circumstances in general. When a colony is weak and the weather cool and unfavourable she only lays a few hundred eggs daily; but in populous colonies, and when pasture is plentiful, she deposits thousands. Under favourable circumstances a fertile queen lays as many as 3000 eggs a-day; of which any one may convince himself by simply putting a swarm into a hive with empty combs, or inserting empty combs in the brood-nest of a stock, and counting the eggs in the cells some days after.”–Jan Dzierzon, Rational Bee-Keeping, 1882 English edition, Pg 18


I read somewhere how long it takes for a queen to lay an egg. I forget how many seconds, 11 or 12. That’s why I said 4 per minute. Anyway shortly after reading that I observed the queen in my observation hive laying eggs & it took the exact amount of seconds that I read about between each egg laid.

I’m pretty sure that queens rest between egg laying, however that could be caused by the colonies inability to keep up with her.

For the past couple of months I’ve observed some jaw dropping results with some of my colonies. I’m sure that some of my queens would be laying 3,000 per day as previously stated.

It would be interesting to do a ‘shook swarm’ with a strong colony into a box of fully drawn stickies, then count the eggs/larvae after one week.

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Great idea, with one caveat. Nurse bees are cannibals and eat eggs. So you may underestimate your queen’s laying productivity. :blush:


wow, I didn’t know that

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Perhaps I should expand a little. They only seem to eat the excess that hive cannot afford to support. They are not a primary food source. Bees are very smart.

Oh, I had the intuition that was the case. :slight_smile: