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The Honey Bee Lifecycle

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

  1. Egg: The queen bee lays an egg in a honeycomb cell.

  2. Larva: The egg hatches into a small, white, legless larva that is fed by the worker bees with a mixture of honey and pollen called "royal jelly." The larva grows rapidly and sheds its skin several times.

  3. Pupa: After a few days, the larva spins a cocoon around itself and enters the pupal stage. During this time, it undergoes a metamorphosis and transforms into an adult bee.

  4. Adult: The fully developed bee emerges from the cocoon and chews its way out of the cell. It then spends several days in the hive cleaning and caring for the brood before it becomes a forager, collecting nectar and pollen from flowers to bring back to the hive.

Throughout its life, a honey bee will have specific roles within the hive, including nurse bee, guard bee, and forager bee. The lifespan of a worker bee is typically around six weeks during the active summer months, while the queen bee can live for several years.

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