I am hoping to see some real live pictures of honeybees with a description of what they are and maybe what they are doing. I am having trouble recognizing the types. Some have stripes, some have black rear ends, some big, some small. I keep looking in books and internet but nothing seems to really stick with me. I mean I know the queen is bigger but it seems like there are others that are big as well. If anyone has pics of their bees I would love to see them with explanations of what they are and maybe what they are doing. Flow hive posts those great pics of “find the queen” but I am never sure if I found her even when people give clues.
Well, let me introduce you to queen ruby! She is the one with the red dot (no way, huh? ) You can see that she has a longer abdomen and more pronounced legs than the bees around her. Most of the bees near her are facing inwards (another good sign of a queen), and are called “attendants” or “nurse bees”. Their job is to feed the queen and her larvae, and clean up the hive as needed. There aren’t any drones in this picture, but if there were, you could tell because their eyes look 3 or 4 times the size of worker and queen eyes - sort of wrap-around Oakley sunglasses effect. That is what happens when you spend all day looking for a girl to mate with…
This is a close up of bee eggs. Very hard to see in any hive, but just about every cell has one in this photo. They look like tiny grains of rice at the center of the bottom of the cell. Just one per cell is normal:
Thank you @Dawn_SD
Big eyes= drones
Big abdomen short wing=queen
any other markers differentiating the queen?
Some of my bees have fat (more round?) Abdomen (Just like me… lol) what are those?
What about black rump no stripes?
Why are some paler than others?
Oh, also, what is the black line in some of the cells?
Blunt, round rump = me, or a drone. They are also bigger than workers and wear the black Oakleys.
If well-mated, she generally moves around slowly, unless you have used a lot of smoke. If you take your time on a nice day, you can often tell which frame she is on, because all of the bees seem much calmer. A bit like there is some CBD in the air. Just joking, but it is true, the frame with the queen in a non-panicked hive is usually the quietest from the point of view of movement. Still lots of bees, just not much jostling.
Sounds like an older bee, but it may also just be varying parentage. Naturally mated queens will mate with between 30 and 50 drones (the numbers increase every year, as we get better at genetic analysis). As she works through the sperm from different drones, the colors (spelled US-style for you) of her offspring will vary. Some will be much more yellow, some darker.
Young bees are usually very pale. Two things cause that. First their cuticle hasn’t fully dried and hardened, which darkens the coloring. The other is that they are very hairy when they first emerge (not hatch - only eggs hatch! ) and the hairs are all very light in coloring. A lot of hairs rub off quite quickly, and the bees generally darken as they get older.
Wiring in the foundation.
Thank you @Helen_adel
When do they cap the bee “grubs”? ( I have never heard that term referring to bees before … i am sure it is in one of the many books I have read. Is that a certain age larvae?)
I think I definitely see the queen. Is her tail end a bit more narrow or pointed? Sort of reminds me of a wasp (sort of)
I think “grubs” is an informal word for larvae.
The queen lays an egg on Day 1. About Day 3, the larva hatches from the egg. Between day 7.5 (for a queen) and day 10 (for a drone) the larva gets capped and becomes a pupa. Pupae (the plural) undergo metamorphosis while capped to develop into a mature honey bee. These then emerge (NOT hatch) from their cocoon and capped cell at 16 to 24 days, depending on climate and the type of bee (queen, worker, drone).
If you want more free info, this isn’t bad. Some books are better, but you have to take time to wade through them:
You got it!