About animals

Bee family - who is in charge?


Bee family - a colony of a honey bee, consisting of working bees (up to 99%), a fetal uterus and drones. Some individuals of bee colonies are not capable of independent existence. It reaches its largest size in summer (up to 80,100 thousand bees), decreases by autumn, ... ... Big Encyclopedic Dictionary

Bee family - Bee family: a community consisting of bees, a fetal queen bee and drones. Source: Beekeeping. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS. GOST R 52001 2002 (approved by Resolution of the State Standard of the Russian Federation of December 30, 2002 N 531 Art.) ... Official terminology

bee family - A community consisting of bees, a fetal queen bee and drones. GOST R 52001 2002 Topics beekeeping General terms biology of bees ... Technical Translator's Guide

bee family - a colony of a honey bee, consisting of working bees (up to 99%), a fetal uterus and drones. Individual individuals of the bee colony are not capable of independent existence. It reaches its largest size in summer (up to 80,100 thousand bees), decreases by autumn, ... ... Encyclopedic Dictionary

bee family - a bee family, a colony of several thousand working bees, one fetal uterus and several hundreds (sometimes thousands) of drones. A characteristic feature of P. s. there are differences in the structure and functions of these individuals. In the process of evolution, the role of P. increased with ... Agriculture. Great Encyclopedic Dictionary

Bee family - colony from several. thousand working bees, one fetal uterus and several. hundreds (sometimes thousands) of drones. A characteristic feature of P. s. are differences in the structure and functions of these individuals. In the course of evolution P.'s role increased with. as a whole. None of ... ... Agricultural Encyclopedic Dictionary

Bee family - a colony of a honey bee, consisting of working bees (up to 99%), a fetal uterus and drones. Sep. individuals P. s. not capable of self-sufficient. subsistence. naib it reaches its size in summer (up to 80,100 thousand bees), decreases by autumn, the uterus and working bees hibernate ... Natural history. encyclopedic Dictionary

Bee-kindergarten family - Bee family educator: a bee family prepared for growing infertile queens. Source: Beekeeping. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS. GOST R 52001 2002 (approved by Resolution of the State Standard of the Russian Federation of December 30, 2002 N 531 Art.) ... Official terminology

bee-educator family - A bee family prepared for growing infertile queens. GOST R 52001 2002 Topics beekeeping Generalizing terms bee breeding ... Technical translator's guide

Maternal Bee Family - Maternal bee colony: a bee colony whose bee larvae are used to remove queen bees. Source: Beekeeping. TERMS AND DEFINITIONS. GOST R 52001 2002 (approved by Resolution of the State Standard of the Russian Federation of December 30, 2002 N 531 Art.) ... Official terminology

Bee family

The composition of the bee family.During its active period, the bee family, as a rule, consists of one fully developed female - the uterus, several hundred, and in individual families and thousands of males - drones and many thousands of underdeveloped female worker bees. At that time, usually thousands of eggs laid by the uterus, thousands of larvae and dolls developing from them, as well as a certain amount of feed reserves - honey and bee bread, are usually located in the nest of the bee family. The existence, along with the female and the male, of a third form, working bees, is characteristic of honey bees and a number of other social insects (bumblebees, ants, termites, etc.) and is called polymorphism.

The vast majority of insect species and all farm animals are characterized by sexual dimorphism (the presence of a female and a male).

Honey Bee Polymorphism - This is the result of a long evolutionary process associated with the separation of functions between individuals united in a bee family. The uterus in the bee family "specializes" only in laying eggs and does not perform any other functions. While the same uterus lives in the bee family, the bee family has its own individual characteristics: the ability to collect honey, a specific smell, the polarization of nests, swarm, aggressiveness and winter hardiness. If you replace the uterus, the individual characteristics of the bee family change, as a new generation of bees with other hereditary traits is born. All work on collecting and caring for offspring is carried out by working bees, which in normal bee colonies are free from reproduction of offspring, since their reproductive system is underdeveloped. Drones do not do any work in the bee family, their purpose is mating with infertile uterus. The bee family normally lives and breeds only in its entirety. Outside the bee colony, individuals cannot live. Reproduction of bee colonies is carried out by swarming.

Uterus. In a normal bee family, there is only one fetal uterus. The nature of development and the productivity of the family to a decisive degree depend on its fertility and hereditary properties transmitted to offspring through laid fertilized eggs. Experienced beekeepers know that providing families with young highly productive uterus is crucial to increase honey collection and efficient pollination of entomophilous crops.

The uterus is superior in weight and size to the rest of the bee family. Depending on the breed and season of the year, its body length ranges from 20 to 25 mm, and live weight - from 200 to 300 mg. Infertile uterus usually weighs no more than 200-220 mg, and a good fetal uterus in the midst of egg laying - 300 mg or more. As a rule, the larger the uterus, the better its ovaries are developed and the more fertility it is. Large uterus process feed faster, carry out more intensive egg laying. In the bee family, the uterus lives up to 4-5 years, the uterus shows the highest fecundity in the first two years of life, when it lays the largest number of fertilized eggs. Starting from the second year, uterine fertility begins to decline, while the proportion of unfertilized eggs laid by it increases, from which drones later develop. Based on this feature, beekeepers over two years of age do not keep queens in their apiary.

In the event that for some reason there are two or more uterus in the family, then they enter into a tough battle, after which the family will have one, the most powerful uterus. Due to the lower level of historical development in some southern bee breeds (African and partly Caucasian), cases of cohabitation in a family of two or more queens are sometimes observed.

Drones are temporary members of the bee family, which is associated with their limited function of only mating with the uterus. If you squeeze the drone with your fingers, then two horns come out from behind, and if the beekeeper squeezes the drone harder, a penis will appear between these horns. Drones appear in the bee family usually from mid-spring, when mating of infertile queens occurs. Worker bees feed drones and take care of them until the end of the honey collection. As soon as the honey collection has stopped, the drones are mercilessly expelled from the normal bee family and die. With the expulsion of the drones, the bees are thrown out of the cells and the drone brood. Such an attitude towards them from the side of the bee family after the mating period has passed and the honey collection has ended is connected with the need to save fodder reserves in the bezrezhychny and winter periods. at this time, drones for the bee family become unnecessary "parasites". Normal bee families winter without drones. But in those families when they have an infertile uterus or the family does not have a uterus at all, in this case the bees usually do not drive the males out of the family. The beekeeper should know that leaving drones in the family in late autumn, at the end of the honey collection, is a sign of her dysfunction.

The life expectancy of individual drones does not exceed two and a half months. Males die after mating with the uterus. In appearance, the drones are easy to distinguish from the uterus and working bees. The drones have a wider, as if shortened body length of 15-17 mm. Unlike the uterus, in which the wings do not reach the end of the abdomen, in drones they protrude 3-4 mm beyond the end of the half rings. There are two genera of drones: some large, arranged in drone cells, others small, so-called illegitimate, born in bee cells. On examination, they are as small as the bees that are born from a hunchback brood, and always serve as a sign for the beekeeper that the hive has either a bad uterus or a tinder. Drones, unlike queens, have more developed complex eyes. The live weight of drones reaches 250-260mg. Drones have highly developed sex glands and their appendages, filling more than half of the abdominal cavity. Of all the bees of the family, the drone for its breeding requires the greatest time, namely from 22 to 24 days from the testicle.

Working bees. These are female individuals of the bee family with underdeveloped genital organs. Develop in bee cells from fertilized eggs. They do not mate with drones and, under normal conditions, do not lay eggs. Worker bees make up the bulk of the bee family. Their number in the family varies depending on the time of year. In a strong family in the early spring there are about 20-25 thousand worker bees. Then their number gradually increases, reaching the beginning of the main honey collection up to 80-100 thousand individuals in a strong bee family, after which it decreases to 30-40 thousand by autumn, and to 25-30 thousand by wintering. In families of medium strength and weak worker bees, there are correspondingly fewer bees, which is why their productivity and the ability to withstand adverse environmental factors and diseases.

Worker bees are the main producers of beekeeping - honey, wax, propolis, pollen, milk and bee venom.

The body of the working bee is shorter than the body of the uterus and the drone, the length is 12-14 mm. The organs of the working bee are adapted to perform many tasks both in the nest and in the field. The proboscis length of a bee reaches 7.25 mm and varies depending on the breed of bees. With the help of a proboscis, bees collect and process nectar into honey, feed larvae, uterus and drones. There are wax glands on the bee’s belly that secrete wax. The scavenger is a means of protecting the nest from enemies. The mass of a one-day bee ranges from 90 to 115 mg. The total bee mass is strongly influenced by the degree of filling of goiter with nectar or honey, the load of the intestine with feces, breeding conditions, age, breed, etc. In swarm bees, the load of goiter reaches 50-60 mg, i.e. more than half of their total mass. In collecting bees, during an abundant bribe, the mass of nectar transferred in the goiter to the hive usually reaches 35-40 mg. The fecal load of the hind gut by the end of wintering in Central Russian bees reaches 45-50 mg. Southern, yellow Caucasian and Ukrainian bees are slightly smaller than the northern ones. It is generally accepted among beekeepers that in 1 kg of bees there are about 10 thousand Central Russian and about 11 thousand southern bees (without loaded goiter and hind gut). It must be borne in mind that the determination of live weight and the number of bees in a family, in layering, nuclei and sachets is of great practical importance. Most accurately, the live weight of the family can be established by direct weighing, which is done during the pilot work. In practice, the number of bees in a family of beekeepers is determined by the number of frames densely packed by them or the streets occupied by them. On a standard frame with a dense arrangement of bees, the weight is about 300 g, or 3 thousand pieces, on the frame of a multi-hive hive - about 230 g.

The life span of working bees depends on the intensity of their work and metabolism. In summer, during the period of the main bribe, the life expectancy of a working bee does not exceed 5-6 weeks, in the autumn period when a working bee works less intensively, it lives 7-8 weeks. A sharp decrease in the life expectancy of bees is noted when growing a large number of broods. At the same time, bees bred in the fall and not taking part in honey collection and brood rearing tolerate wintering well; they live up to 8-9 months, while maintaining the ability to raise brood. Bees raised in strong families live longer than in weak ones. Intensive work causes an increase in metabolism in the bee's body. At the same time, part of the metabolic products is deposited in the excretory cells of the fat body.

Overflow of these cells leads to the aging of the bee. Enhanced vital activity causes changes in nerve cells, in particular in the cells of the mushroom body of the brain of a bee, as a result of which their function is impaired. Violation of the metabolism and function of the nervous system leads to the death of a bee.

However, in spite of the short life of individual bees, the family as an integral biological unit maintains its vital activity for a very long time, as it is replenished with young, nascent bees, as a result of which the composition of the bee family is constantly updated.

Bee family structure

Any bee family can conditionally be divided into an active and passive segment. Active are the bees themselves, which in turn are divided into three groups: the uterus, working bees, and drones. Passive - the place of residence of bees (nest, honeycomb with brood and supply of nutrients). If with the second everything is painfully clear - a nest for bees, like an apartment for a person, then we offer to deal with the first in more detail. Nature ideally thought out the composition of the bee family and the functions of each of its members for the seamless interaction of tens of thousands of individuals within the same family.

The bee family includes:

  • the uterus is the queen of the hive, it is her role that is assigned to the reproduction, since only she has developed genital organs and is capable of reproducing offspring
  • working bees - they are the absolute majority in any bee family. The task of these insects is honey collection, to provide beekeeping products not only to humans, but also to the uterus and future offspring. Drones also live at the expense of them.
  • drones are male bees. Usually, their numbers reach a critical moment during the period of active breeding (warm season) and tend to zero after the completion of the fertilization process, with the onset of cold weather.

So, we examined the device of the bee family. The composition, life and responsibilities of each family member are proposed to be considered in more detail below.

Uterus - Queen of the Family

The uterus, or as they call it differently, the queen of the family. The only bee in the hive with the ability to reproduce offspring. In its dimensions, as it should be a queen, she surpasses other family members.

The size of the uterus is 20-25 mm., And the weight can reach up to 250 mg. She spends most of her life in the hive, flies out of it only during the swarm. The rest of the time she is busy taking care of the offspring. The queen bee lays eggs at an enviable rate of about two thousand a day. Moreover, not many of them subsequently turn into bees, most of the eggs are not fertilized and do not carry value for the family.

The uterus begins to lay eggs 4-6 days after contact with the drone. The uterus is ready for the first mating already at 8-10 days after leaving the mother liquor. The life span of the uterus is usually about 5 years. A lot of factors influence its life expectancy, in particular geographical, climatic, ecological, as well as intra-family ones - the number of brood, the quality of life of working bees.

As a rule, after 3 years of life, the existing uterus is already beginning to look for a replacement, for this, a spare uterus appears in the family, which, if necessary, can replace the existing, in case of loss to her, ability to fertilize, her illness or death.

Worker bees - beehive workers

Working bees are the most widespread class of any bee family, accounting for 70-80% of the total number of individuals in the family during the warm season and up to 99% in the cold season. As the name suggests, the function of such bees is honey collection, providing the family with nutrients, and their supply for the winter.

From the point of view of beekeepers, it is these bees that are of the greatest interest, since it is they who bestow us with honey and related products. Some of them can lay unfertilized eggs. Such individuals are called tinder. The mass of the working bee is about 100 mg. The duties of working bees include:

  1. nest construction
  2. collecting pollen and nectar
  3. uterine care
  4. brood care and provision with everything necessary
  5. nest guard
  6. ensuring order and proper living conditions in the nest

The life span of a working bee is usually within the same honey collection period. On average, a working bee lives about 30 days. Long-lived can be considered the working bees of the autumn conclusion. They can live 3 months or more. This is due to the lack of a lot of work in the winter and the presence of a large amount of nutrients accumulated in the nest during the honey collection period. Autumn bees live for as long as possible if there is no brood in the nest. In this case, the bee's lifespan may increase to 1 year.

The organism of working bees is maximally adapted to the functions performed by them. So in the hot period they open the mechanism of temperature compensation, due to a sharp decrease in oxygen consumption, the active evaporation of moisture begins.

Drones are the most useless members of the bee family

Drone - so sometimes called a lazy careless person living at someone else's expense. Not many people know, but the meaning of this word has a reference to the bee world, because bees are masculine as a drone. In fact, they, as in the case of the “man-drone”, are opportunists, they themselves do not collect pollen and nectar, eat at the expense of working bees, live in nests and honeycombs created by them. But still they have one, but very important function - the fertilization of the uterus.

The weight of the drone is about 250 mg, length 16-17mm. The bulk of the drones appears in the hive in the spring - an active breeding season. Reading a little higher information about the uselessness of these individuals in the family’s public life, you might wonder how to regulate their numbers in order to simplify the life of working bees? The answer was given by nature itself. Natural selection for drones works fine.

Most of them die already at the stage of the struggle for the uterus. Those who still managed to survive, the bees themselves survive from the hive after the end of the fertilization period. As a rule, for the winter in the family there are no more than a dozen of the most powerful drones. If their number is much higher - this may indicate the absence in the family of the uterus or its disease (infertility).

So, we were convinced that the composition of the bee colony and their responsibilities are an integral system thought out to the smallest detail, which can damage any mechanism (disease of the uterus, pestilence of working bees, absence or, on the contrary, too many drones). The obligation of the beekeeper to monitor the balance in the system and to support primarily the working bees, on which the life of the family depends.

Bee family biology

Bee colonies live an unlimited amount of time, thanks to the constant birth of young individuals. The appearance of young growth prevents the extinction of the bee family.

Bee families include several species of individuals, divided by their functions. The bee colony includes:

  • One womb
  • Several tens of thousands of working bees,
  • A few thousand drones.

The male bee colony is a drone.

Drones in a bee family live only in the summer and perform the function of inseminating young queens. The presence in the bee family of a large number of drones indicates a disadvantage in it. Such a family is called tinder. The drone lasts from May to August.

Distinctive features of drones:

  • Larger than working bees,
  • Developed wings
  • No sting
  • Good vision.

A drone larva eats 3 or 4 times more honey than a bee larva. To reduce the number of laid drone eggs in honeycomb cells, the beekeeper can use building frames with glued artificial wax. After laying eggs, the honeycombs must be cut and melted to wax.

After termination of the withdrawal of the uterus, the drones are driven out of the hives, after which they die.

The uterus is the head of the bee family

The uterus is the queen of bee colonies.

The head of the bee colony is the uterus, which some call the queen. Every bee family has one uterus. The appearance in the hive of the second uterus will end in their struggle, as a result of which the strongest will win. It is not easy to distinguish the uterus among a large number of bees, but when you see it, you will not confuse it. This individual is twice as large as the rest.

Uterus with offspring larger than infertile queens. The weight of the fetal individual is 200-260 mg, and infertile - 150-200 mg. During the day, the uterus can lay from 1000 to 3000 eggs. Laying one egg takes about 40 seconds. Young mothers have larger eggs. From February to September, the total number of eggs laid is more than 150 thousand, and can reach up to 300 thousand.

Both fertilized and unfertilized eggs are laid by the uterus in the cells of the cells. Fertilized eggs supply the hive with queen bees and worker bees, and dams are made from unfertilized eggs.

The duties of the uterus include only the birth of offspring and it lives longer than working bees. When three years are reached, the egg production of the uterus is reduced and bees can replace it without the participation of a beekeeper.

The presence of the uterus in the bee colony provides a full-fledged family with well-functioning work of all its individuals. In the bee colony, which has lost its uterus, complete discord is planned. Bees do not work well in the construction of honeycombs and the collection of nectar, pollen, and they also poorly monitor the safety of their hive. Even the presence of a uterine corpse in the hive will help save the bee family for a while from extinction.

Bee families - working bees

The duties of working bees include:

  • Feeding brood,
  • Collecting nectar and pollen from honey plants,
  • Honeycomb construction,
  • Keeping clean
  • Nest guard.

On average, a working bee is able to live about 35 days in the summer, when intensive work is performed. In the winter season, worker bees can live all winter.

At the initial stage of life, a working bee performs work in a hive and is called hive bee, and only then collects nectar, called flying bee.

The main breadwinners of the bee family are working bees. Outwardly they are smaller than their brothers. Worker bees are females with small or underdeveloped ovaries. In the absence of the uterus, they are also able to lay unfertilized eggs (about 30), from which drones are obtained.

How much is a bee family

Bee packages - minimal bee families.

A strong bee colony is considered to be a hive from 30 to 45 thousand bees of different levels. The total weight of the bee family is about 8-13 kilograms of bees that can accommodate on 36 frames. The beginner beekeeper cannot cope with so many bees at once. For convenience, there is such a thing as a bee package.

The minimum bee package includes:

  • 1.2 kilograms of bees,
  • 1.5 brood frames
  • Some hive food
  • A few hundred.

Bees in a bee package are a full bee family with a uterus.

Bee packages can be:

  • Framework or cellular,
  • Frameless (cellless).

The cost of the bee colony depends on the cost of the container, which is about 10-15% of the bee package from the breed of bees. Frame bee packages include from 4 to 8 frames (prefabricated or branch). The prefabricated frame is formed from a brood of different ages from different families. A non-assembled frame is obtained by dividing a large bee family into several layers. The fetal uterus sits in the formed framework. The number of insects in one bee family depends on the wishes of the buyer.

Frameless bee packages is a bee club with a uterus, where there is no brood. It is possible to buy bee packages of Carpathian bees in a corrugated packaging of four frames with brood and fodder frame for 4,500 rubles. Buying a bee colony with a beehive will cost a little more, since in a full-fledged bee family there are about 12 frames, which will be three bee packages. The purchase of a bee family will cost about 6,000 rubles, which is clearly more profitable than buying a bee package.

The initial purchase of bees, as a rule, is carried out by the bee family, and the subsequent replenishment of the apiary is reasonably carried out by bee packages.

The Carpathian bee breed is resistant to various diseases and low temperatures, and also gives more honey.

Rules for keeping bee colonies

Bee colonies are kept under strict rules.

Each beekeeper should know the instructions for keeping bee families.

  1. The bee stock and the bee family as a whole received the name apiary. Each beekeeper with a swarm emerging from the bee colony is a financially responsible person who is responsible for the possible damage caused by his bees. It is necessary to prevent swarming in advance.
  2. All beekeepers must undergo specific instruction and registration, after which they will be issued a certificate of a specific pattern. If the instructions are not followed, the beekeeper may be held liable.
  3. The territorial divisions of the Federal State Institution Beekeeping Inspection are called upon to monitor and provide organizational and informational assistance to the beekeeper.
  4. Bees should be kept at a certain distance from common areas.
  5. Apiaries located in settlements should not contain malicious breeds of bees.
  6. Each apiary must be equipped with a veterinary and sanitary passport and an apiary register.
  7. It is recommended to insure the apiary, which will facilitate the position of the beekeeper in the event of litigation.
  8. Prevention of summer of bees to neighboring apiaries should be provided.
  9. Unauthorized persons are not allowed in the apiary.
  10. A beekeeper must take care of preventing bee diseases.
  11. Providing bees with good houses and preventing bee theft.
  12. Restriction on the number of bee colonies in settlements: one or two for every 100 square meters of area.
  13. Sale of bee colonies should be carried out after obtaining the certificate F.1-vet.
  14. It is allowed to export an apiary for wandering in compliance with this instruction, Veterinary law, etc.

What is a "bee family"?

In spring and summer, the bee family should have 1 fertile uterus, from 20 to 80 thousand workers, 1-2 thousand drones and brood from 8 to 9 frames. The total framework should be 12. Buying a bee package in beekeeping is considered the easiest way to develop a bee family. According to GOST 20728-75, its composition should include:

  • bees - 1.2 kg
  • brood frames (300 mm) - at least 2 pcs.,
  • queen bee - 1 pc.,
  • feed - 3 kg
  • packing for transportation.

How the bee family works

For a full life and reproduction in the hive should be the full composition of the bee family. The beginning beekeeper should have an idea of ​​the structure of the bee colony and the functions of individuals. Reproduces the offspring of the uterus. Outwardly, it differs from other insects:

  • body size - its length can reach 30 mm,
  • more than working individuals weighing, it depends on the breed, can reach up to 300 mg,
  • they do not have baskets on their paws into which workers collect pollen.

The uterus has no wax glands, the eyes are poorly developed. The life of the entire highly organized bee family is built around the uterus. Usually she is alone in the hive (bee colony). There are a lot of bees in the bee families, the count goes to thousands. They do a lot of things related to the life support of the bee colony inside and outside the hive:

  • build a honeycomb
  • feed larvae, drones, uterus,
  • fly to collect pollen, nectar,
  • brood frames, maintain the desired temperature in the hive,
  • carry out cleaning cells cells.

Drones are mandatory members of the bee family. These insects are males, their role in the bee colony is one - the fertilization of eggs, which occurs during their mating with the uterus. Due to their purpose, they are visually different from females living in the hive. The drone has no sting, the proboscis is small. It is impossible for them to collect pollen from a flower. Male dimensions are larger than working females:

  • the average weight of the drone is 260 mg,
  • body size - 17 mm.

The female (uterus) drones are found by the smell of a uterine substance (pheromone). They feel it at a great distance. Drones feed working individuals. Over the summer, they eat almost 50 kg of honey. During summer cooling, they can warm the brood (eggs, larvae) inside the hive, gathering in heaps near the cells.

How responsibilities are distributed between individuals of the bee family

In bee colonies, a strict hierarchy is respected. The workflow, continuously flowing inside and outside the hive, is distributed strictly by age. On young bees, whose age does not exceed 10 days, all family work on the hive falls:

  • they are preparing free cells in combs for new egg laying (clean, polish),
  • maintain the desired brood temperature, while they sit on the surface of the frames or move slowly along them.

The brood is cared for by bee-nurse. Individuals pass into this status after they have formed special glands that produce royal jelly. The feed glands are located on the head. Perga is the raw material for the production of royal jelly. Her nurse absorbs in large quantities.

Drones mate with the uterus outside the hive. This process occurs during flight. From the moment of leaving the cell until puberty takes about 2 weeks. During daylight hours, mature drones fly 3 times. The first time is in the middle of the day. The duration of flights is short, approximately 30 minutes.

Life cycle of a working bee

The life of working bees depends on the strength of the bee colony, weather conditions, the volume of the bribe. The first life cycle lasts 10 days. In this segment of life, a young working individual exists inside the hive, it is classified as a bee hive. In this period of time, feed glands are formed in individuals.

The next 10 days fall on the second life cycle. It begins on the 10th day of the bee’s life, ends at 20. During this period, wax glands form and reach maximum sizes in the abdomen. At the same time, the feed glands cease to function. An individual from a nurse turns into a builder, cleaner, protector.

The third cycle is the final one. It begins on the 20th day and lasts until the death of the working individual. Wax glands stop functioning. Adult workers turn into pickers. They leave household chores on young insects. If the weather is favorable, pickers fly out for a bribe.

Bee hives and flying workers

A strict hierarchy is observed in every bee family. It is built on the basis of the physiological state of working bees, determined by their age. According to this hierarchy, all employees are divided into 2 groups:

The majority of non-flying individuals are 14–20 days old; older ones are part of the group of flying bees. For 3-5 days, hive working bees make short departures, during which the intestines are cleaned by defecation.

The role of the working bee

Having reached 3 days of age, young worker bees eat, rest and take part in brood care. At this time, they heat the brood with bodies. Growing up, the working individual becomes a cleaner.

The uterus can lay eggs in clean, prepared cells. Serving vacated cells is the responsibility of the cleaners. A number of cell maintenance tasks fall on it:

  • cleaning
  • propolis polishing
  • wetting with saliva.

Cleaning ladies carry out dead insects, moldy bee bread, other waste. From 12 to 18 days of life, the working individual of the bee colony becomes a nurse and a builder. The nurse-bee should be next to the brood. She provides food to family members. The life of the larvae, uterus, and drones that have just hatched from the sealed cells of young bees depends on the nurse.

The duties of hive bees include:

  • production of honey from nectar,
  • removing excess moisture from nectar,
  • honeycomb filling,
  • sealing cells with wax.

For most of their short lives, working bees collect nectar and pollen from the bee colony. The individual becomes a picker, having reached the age of 15-20 days.

How is bee brood formed?

In beekeeping, brood is understood as a combination of eggs, larvae, and pupae. After a certain period of time, bees hatch from them. The device (reproduction) of bee colonies occurs in spring and summer. Of the eggs that the uterus has laid in the cell of the honeycomb, larvae hatch on day 3.

They eat intensely for 6 days. In a short period of time, the mass of each increases by 500 times. When the larva reaches the required size, they stop feeding it. Entrance to the cell worker bee colonies are sealed with wax.

Before becoming a full-fledged adult insect, a certain number of days pass. A sealed doll spins a cocoon around itself. Pupa stage lasts:

  • drones - 14 days,
  • it takes 12 days to form working bees,
  • before the appearance of the uterus, 9 days pass.

In the open cells of the honeycombs are eggs

Larvae live in open cells

In open cells there are eggs and larvae

The cells are sealed with wax, the dolls are in them

The number of bees in the hive depending on the season

The strength of the bee colony is determined by the number of frames laden with bees. On a frame with a side size of 300 x 435 mm, 250 insects are placed. Classification of bee colonies during a bribe:

  • strong - 6 kg and more,
  • average - 4-5 kg,
  • weak - How much is a bee

The life expectancy of honey bees depends on the time of birth (spring, summer, autumn), brood size, daily work intensity, disease, weather, and feed volume. A significant role is played by the bee colony breed.

The most productive, hardy, and resistant to infections are bee colonies of the Central Russian breed. Individuals of this species withstand a long winter (7-8 months). Resistant to low temperatures Ukrainian steppe variety.

Easily adapt to the harsh conditions of the Krainsky bee family. In the harsh Russian climate, the Carpathian breed winter well. In the south of the country, Buckfast and Caucasian varieties are popular.

Favorable conditions must be created for the bee colony of any breed:

  • optimal size hive
  • warm wintering
  • leave enough food in the hives,
  • take the apiary to a good place with a lot of honey plants.

How much is a working bee

The life span of working bees determines the time of their appearance. Insects born in the bee colonies in spring and summer do not live long. From their exit from the cell to death passes from a force of 4-5 weeks. Gathering bees live up to 40 days in a strong bee family, and in a weak one - only 25 days. There are many dangers in their path of life. Warm weather extends your lifespan.

Individuals that appeared in the bee family closer to the end of August or in the fall, live longer. They are called winter bees, their life span is calculated in months. In the fall they feed on stocks, pollen.

There is no brood in the bee colony in winter. In winter, working bees eat normally, lead a quiet, contemplative life. By spring, at the time of the appearance of eggs, they retain a fatty body, perform the work of nurse-bees in the bee family. They do not survive until the summer, they are dying out gradually.

How long does a queen bee live?

Without a uterus, a full life in a bee family is impossible. Her lifespan is longer than that of drones and worker bees. Physiologically, it can mate and masonry for 4-5 years. Long-livers are found in strong bee colonies. The uterus maintains productivity for a long time if it is well guarded and generously fed.

Most often, the uterus live in the bee family for 2-3 years. After this time, the body of the maternal individual is depleted due to the large number of clutches. When productivity drops, the number of eggs laid decreases, the bee family replaces the uterus with a younger one. The queen of the beehive, taken from contentment, has been living for less than 5 years.

How much drone lives

In bee colonies, drones hatch closer to summer. Having reached the age of 2 weeks, they are ready to fulfill their function - to fertilize the uterus. The lucky ones who gained access to the body of the queen die immediately after the release of sperm.

Some of them die during the struggle with other drones for the uterus. The surviving male bee colonies for some time still live in the hive in full support. They are fed by nurse bees. When the honey harvest period is about to end, the drones are driven out of the hive. In bee families where the uterus has died or become barren, a certain amount of drones is left.

Collapse of bee colonies: causes

The first time a new disease was recorded by beekeepers in 2016. Bee colonies began to disappear from the hives. They called it KPS - the collapse of the bee family. When KPS is observed a complete gathering of bees. In the hive remains brood and food. Dead bees are absent in it. In rare cases, the uterus and some working individuals are found in the hive.

The reason for the autumn gathering of the bee colony can be different factors:

  • long, warm autumn, the presence of a bribe in September,
  • a large number of bee families in the wintering place,
  • reducing the size of the nest in preparation for the winter,
  • varroatous tick.

This is a list of possible reasons for the gathering of bee families, even scientists do not have accurate data. According to many beekeepers, the main reason for the gathering of bee colonies is the tick and the lack of timely anti-tick treatment. It is believed that insects in the bee family are affected by new generation mobile communications (3G, 4G).


A strong bee family is characterized by high productivity, strong offspring, and longer life spans. Less is spent on its maintenance of forces and means than on a weak bee family. The guarantee of a strong bee family is a productive young uterus, a sufficient amount of feed reserves, a warm hive, well-equipped with honeycombs.