God Inspired The Female Honey Bee

Important Facts About The Honey Bee

Honey Bee Animation

Before telling you this miracle present in Holy Quran, let me tell you some interesting facts about the Honey Bee. Only eight surviving species of honey bee are recognized, with a total of 43 subspecies. Honey bees represent only a small fraction of almost 20,000 known species of bees. Honey bees have three castes: drones, workers, and queens. Drones are male, while workers and queens are female. Body Size of a honey bee is 1cm to 3cm and its body divided into Head, Thorax, and Abdomen.

Honey Bee Colony

Honey Bee live in colonies. They have three categories inside a colony: one queen bee – a female, up to a few thousand drone bees or males and tens of thousands of female worker bees. Male Bee or Drones are stingless and can’t make honey. Drones are larger in size than the female worker bees but less than Queen.

Queen Bee

Queen Bee in Hive

Queen is the largest in size. Queen’s only task is to lay eggs i.e reproduction. No other female is able to mate and reproduce. Once mated, queens may lay up to 2,000 eggs per day. Queen bees are created when worker bees feed a single female larvae an exclusive diet of a food called Royal Jelly. Queens are produced in oversized cells and develop in only 16 days.  Queen Bee mating occurs in mid-air, mid-flight, and 10–40 m above ground. Virgin queens go on mating flights away from their home colony to a drone congregation area, and mate with multiple drones before returning. The drones die in the act of mating. Queen honey bees do not mate with drones from their home colony. Eggs are laid singly in a cell in a wax honeycomb, produced and shaped by the worker bees. Using her spermatheca, the queen can choose to fertilize the egg she is laying. Larvae are initially fed with royal jelly produced by worker bees, later switching to honey and pollen. The exception is a larva fed solely on royal jelly, which will develop into a queen bee.

Males / Drones

Drone Male Bee

Drones primarily exist for the purpose of reproduction. They are expelled from the hive during the winter months when the hive’s primary focus is warmth and food conservation. A drone is characterized by eyes that are twice the size of those of worker bees and queens, and a body size greater than that of worker bees. They use large eyes to locate queens during mating flights. They do not defend the hive or kill intruders, and do not have a stinger and gather neither nectar nor pollen. The males do not contribute to the defense or cleaning of the hive, gathering food, or making of the honeycomb and honey. The only function of the male bees in the hive is to mate with the Queen bee.

Mating of Queen and Drone Bee
Should a drone succeed in mating, the first thing that happens is all of the drone’s blood in his body rushes to his endophallus (a penis like reproduction organ) which causes him to lose control over his entire body. His body falls away, leaving a portion of his endophallus attached to the queen. The process of ejaculation is explosive so much that it rapture part of the abdomen of drone. The process is sometimes audible to the human ear like a popping sound. The ejaculation is so powerful that it ruptures the endophallus, disconnecting the drone from the queen. The bulb of the endophallus is broken off inside of the queen during mating so drones mate only once, fell down on the ground and die shortly after.

Remaining males and the males who survive the mating flights both thrown out of the hive by the female workers and they then die soon because of starvation as they are dependent on female workers for their food.

Female Worker Bees

Queen, Drones And Worker Bee

Worker bees are produced from an egg that the queen has selectively fertilized from stored sperm. Workers typically develop in 21 days. Workers shows a wider range of behaviors than either queens or drones. Their duties change with age in the following order 1- Cleaning out their own cell after eating through their capped brood cell, 2- Feed brood, 3- Receive nectar, 4- Clean hive, 5- Guard duty, 6- Foraging. Under certain conditions e.g if the colony becomes queenless, a worker may develop ovaries.

Bee Dance / Waggle dance

Waggle Dance Animation

Worker bees cooperate to find food and use a pattern of “dancing” known as the bee dance or waggle dance. It is a movement in circles Or like figure-eight movement. By performing this dance, successful foragers can share information about the direction and distance to patches of flowers, water sources and new site locations for nesting. The bee who locate the source return to the hive and inform the others by performing circular or figure-eight like motions like a dance that contains information about the discovery, location, and even distance. The round dance is performed when the resource is about 10 metres away from the hive, transitional dances are performed when the resource is at a distance of 20 to 30 metres away from the hive and when it is located at distances greater than 40 metres from the hive, the waggle dance is performed. Bees determine the location of a place by Sun and its angle. Honey bees also perform tremble dances, which recruit receiver bees to collect nectar from returning foragers

Multiple Stomach

In a Bee inside the stomach, there are portions, partitions or crops i.e. it has multiple stomachs. While collecting Nectar the bee store, it in a different portion called the “Honey Stomach” and return to its hive. At the back of the stomach, there is a valve that prevents the passing of nectar into the rear portion of the digestive system except for a small amount that is needed for her life.

Bee Hive