The Hive Project


Sex in the Hive.

And gender. Most people are aware that the queen is the mother of all the bees in the hive, but there are other interesting details about gender and sex within the colony.

The vast majority of bees within the hive are female-the workers. These are the bees we see coming and going form the hive laden with pollen and nectar. These are the bees who do all of the building and brood rearing-they forage for food and maintain the health of the entire colony.

Drones are the male bees within the colony, whose primary role is to be ready to fertilize a queen bee on her mating flight. Some speculate that their pheromones within the hive help maintain a balance and a healthy social dynamic, but they do no real work beyond their fertilization duties.

The larger bee in this image is this hive’s queen (she escaped while installing the bees). The workers are gathered around to tend to her needs.


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