Honey Bee Eggs: How To identify Queen Honey Bee Eggs?

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I’m sure, like me, even you know what a honey bee’s sting feels like. In case you don’t, it’s not a great feeling. But how do honey bees grow to become the mean stingers they are? Well, like other insects, honey bees begin their lives as honey bee eggs.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about honey bee eggs! So, keep reading!

What do you need to know about honey bee eggs?

honey bee eggs

Honey bee eggs are the foundation of the honey bee life cycle. Without eggs, there would be no new honey bees. Eggs are important for the health and survival of honey bee colonies.

Honey bees use their eggs to store food, produce young honey bees, and maintain the health of their colony.

When a queen bee is ready to lay eggs, she takes the stored sperm and fertilizes her eggs. After the eggs are fertilized, they will be placed in hexagonal cells, where they will incubate for 3-5 days before hatching into young bees.

When a queen is no longer able to lay eggs, the new queens become responsible for laying eggs. The process of creating a new queen starts with the selection of young worker bees that are almost ready to start their own colony.

A few selected larvae are placed in special queen cells, where they are fed a diet that will make them grow into queens.

How can you identify the eggs laid down by the queen of the honey bee colony?

Honey bee eggs are oval and measure 5 mm long. They are about half the size of a single grain of rice. Honey bee eggs can be distinguished from other types of eggs because they are elongated and have a pointed end.

The queen of a honey bee colony lays her eggs in hexagonal cells that are located in the brood comb. When she is laying her eggs, she will move through the comb, closely examining each cell before laying an egg.

This allows her to check for the presence of food and also to identify whether or not the cell has been prepared for an egg.

The queen bee is the only fertile female in a honey bee colony. She starts laying eggs about one week after she emerges from her pupa. A young queen lays her eggs in a systematic manner, laying each egg adjacent to its neighbors within a cell.

Queens deposit their eggs in the middle of the cell frame when they are young, but as they get older, they lay fewer eggs in less orderly patterns.

Can only the queen bee lay eggs, or can worker bees lay eggs too?

Worker bees don't generally lay eggs

Worker bees are able to lay eggs, but they typically don’t. The queen bee is the only one who can lay eggs, and she does so in order to ensure that the hive has a new generation of bees.

Worker bees care for and feed the larvae until they become pupae and then eventually adults.

Basically, only the queen bee can lay eggs, which will result in worker bees, as she is the only one who can fertilize them. The other eggs, which are unfertilized, will produce drones (male bees).

When and why do worker bees lay honey bee eggs in bee colonies?

Worker bees lay honey bee eggs when the queen is absent or when they detect that the queen’s pheromones are not present. This usually happens when there is a lack of queen substance or when the colony is in danger.

Ovary development and egg-laying are regulated by the queen’s pheromones and prevented by her presence.

Since the queen is the only bee in a colony that can lay eggs, and her presence is necessary for brood production, if she isn’t replaced or dies, the workers will start laying eggs due to insufficient queen pheromone production.

This happens when there are few or no drones present in the colony to mate with new queens, which keeps the queen’s pheromone levels high. Without drones present, the worker bees will produce more queen cells in an effort to save the colony.

How are the worker bee eggs different from the queen honey bee eggs?

worker bee

Queen honey bee eggs are laid in a large, elongated cell and are tended to by workers. Worker bee eggs, on the other hand, are laid in smaller cells and are not as well taken care of.

This is because worker bees are more susceptible to dehydration than queen bees and need to be able to hatch quickly so they can start working.

The worker-laid eggs have also been found to develop more slowly than the queen-laid eggs in the majority of instances. This is due to the fact that the workers are not as genetically diverse as the queens, and, as a result, their eggs are not as robust.

What exactly is a bee brood?

A bee brood basically refers to the developing bees that come from the eggs laid by the queen. There are four stages in a honey bee’s life cycle, and that is what is collectively called the bee brood.

The four developmental stages in the life cycle of honey bees are:

  1. Egg
  2. Larva
  3. Pupa
  4. Adult

See, the fact is that honey bee eggs are a vital part of the hive. They are responsible for the growth and success of the colony. Honey bees live for about six weeks in the summer because their work is so demanding that most workers can only live about six weeks.

What is the larval or milk brood?

The larval stage is the first stage in a honey bee’s life. It is a time of feeding and fast growth. During this stage, the honey bee will consume large amounts of food as they grow and develop their organs and tissues.

Typically, they are fed by nurse bees, who produce special food for them inside the head. The larvae will turn into pupae and then eventually into adults.

Honey bee larvae go through three stages: egg, larva, and pupa. The egg hatches into a larva, which eats constantly and molts (sheds its skin). After the larva has molted four times, it becomes a pupa.


So, to sum up, honey bee eggs are pretty much some of the essential members of a honey bee colony. Moreover, it is typically the queens of honey bee colonies that lay eggs. Now, remember that eggs usually look like rice grains. But, it is from these grains that honey bees rise!

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.