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How many times does a queen bee mate in her lifetime?

Hi . I am very new to bee keeping… and just wondering… how menny time queen bee mate in her lifetime…?
I asked cupple of different people’s and I had cupple of different answers … so to be sure…

Good question, @rua_Na, and one that is still surprising bee researchers. The current answer is that she will often mate with between 20 and 50 drones, but she only does so in the first couple of weeks of her life. Once she senses that she has mated with sufficient drones, she will never mate again, even if she lives 5 years.

The better that we get with DNA analysis, the more mates we are finding that queen bees use. The last article I read this year, said up to fifty, but more may be possible.

Just to make things more complicated, if she is forced to mate at an imperfect time of year, when few drones are around, or weather is poor, she may only mate with 5 or 10 drones. That is just the way that nature and biology work! :blush:


Much like @Dawn_SD has answered, a queen will leave on her mating flight normally a few days after she emerges and could be away from the hive for a few days then return to the hive to begin laying eggs. That mating flight is it, from then on she spends the rest of her life laying eggs in the hive.
As to how many drones she mates with I have read as low as 8 to 10 drones and also read up to 50, and all reported by ‘authorities’. :grinning:


She goes out of the hive and mates with 20-50 drones a couple/few times a week or two after emerging:

After that, she has a headache for the rest of her life :rofl:


Now that’s funny! Good one

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Thank you very much this helps a lot…

1 Like

Thank you very much.

Thank you very much.