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The Anatomy of a Hive

Most likely, you’ve seen a beehive before. They’re tall, vertical white boxes that you see near farm fields, in open spaces and even in people’s backyards. But do you know what’s happening inside the beehive?

The Workers

There are actually about 60,000 honey bees working unbelievably hard inside of the hive, in various roles all designed to keep the colony (their family) thriving. Of the 60,000 bees in a hive, almost 99% of them are female!

Female honey bees, or worker bees, make all of the decisions in the hive and do all of the work. There are a couple hundred male bees in a hive, but they don’t do much but sit around and eat food. They don’t even clean up after themselves! Bees have the unique ability to determine the gender of their offspring, which is why they make so many more females than males.

The Queen

In addition to all of the worker bees, there is one queen bee per hive. This is the mother of all the bees in the hive, and in her lifetime, she will lay up to 1 million eggs. She’s a home body and only leaves the hive once in her life to mate with drones from neighboring hives.

The queen bee lays so many eggs to keep up with the demand of the hive and account for the relatively short lifespan of worker bees. During the spring and summer months, worker bees work so hard to gather food for their family that they work themselves to death in about four to six weeks.

Gathering Food

The most demanding job of a honey bee is foraging for food, which they get from the nectar (carbohydrates) and pollen (protein) of flowers. A honey bee will visit about 20,000 flowers in its lifetime gathering food, which it brings back to the hive. If you want more information on how bees transform nectar into honey, check out this blog post.

A hive of honey bees is an amazing super organism with 60,000 honey bees all working together to ensure the survival of the colony and produce amazing all-natural honey, which we proudly use in all of our Honey Stinger products.