A leader in the hive: the queen bee

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There is an astonishing order in every stage of the social life of bees, with their many miraculous characteristics. The rules in the bee hives and bees’ scrupulous implementation of these rules is just one of these miraculous features. In addition to the rules in the hive, there is another important factor that regulates and supervises the order in their social life: the bees’ leader, in other words the queen.

It can be seen from a short examination of the bee hive that the worker bees devote very special attention to one bee much larger than themselves. This bee, the feeding, cleaning, and protection of which, as well as all its other needs, are taken care of by other bees, is the queen, who ensures the continuity of the colony.

The Queen: A Very Different Bee

The number of worker bees in a hive may be in the tens of thousands, though there is only one queen. The presence of the queen is of vital importance for the bees, because it is she who lays the eggs that ensure the survival of the colony. The privileged status of the queen begins right from the larva stage. Queens are raised in places with different features to those of other cells. This place where the queen is reared consists of specially prepared cells that hang down from the comb. Since the queen is larger in size than the other bees, it is natural that these cells should be built to be larger than other cells.

The miraculous point here is that the egg that produces the queen is no different to those that produce worker bees.

Due to feeding differences, during the six-day larva stage, a queen bee with a very different appearance and functions to those of a normal female bee emerges. Worker bees are only given royal jelly for three days, whereas the queen is fed with this very valuable substance throughout the entire larval period (six days). The content and amount of the royal jelly fed to the queen are carefully regulated. Research has shown that while the queen is given 10 mg of royal jelly throughout the larval stage, worker bees are only given 3 mg. Two living things, the queen bee and the worker bee, with various morphological (structural) differences between them emerge as a result of this feeding difference alone.

 

And in your creation and all the creatures He has spread about there are Signs for people with certainty. (Surat al-Jathiyya, 4)
 


2010-10-10 12:58:11
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