What Is a Group of Bees Called and How Do They Function

The answer to this is as complex as bees themselves. When bees are inside the hive, they are called a Colony. When honeybees, for example, are outside of the hive and when a colony creates a new colony, they are referred to as a swarm. The swarm contains the departing queen, female workers, and male/drone bees. Several thousand worker bees contribute to the fully functioning hive. Each member has a specific task to perform, related to their adult age.

A honey bee colony typically consists of workers, drones, and a queen and these are their roles:

Queens are the sole members of a colony that can lay fertilized eggs and are capable of producing up to 2,000 eggs within a single day. While they are capable of living up to five years, they often only live two to three years while producing eggs.

Workers are the largest population within a colony and they are entirely female, but these females are unable to produce fertilized eggs. Worker bees have a specific role; to forage for pollen and nectar, tend to queens and drones, feed larvae, ventilate the hive, defend the nest, and perform other tasks to preserve the survival of the colony, so they are essential. The average lifespan of worker bees is approximately six weeks.

Drones (male honey bees) have only one task: to fertilize new queens. Drones mate outdoors, usually in midair, and die after mating. Some honey bee colonies will even eject surviving drones during the fall when food for the colony becomes scarce.

Some surprising facts about bees include:

1) Bees can be resuscitated. You may happen upon a bee that is not moving and assume it is dead simply because it is motionless. But it may just be exhausted and in need of a boost. What can I do? Well, you can mix a special energy drink for them or carefully place them on a nearby flower. A solution of white cane sugar and water is all they usually need to perk them up, just mix and put a few drops next to them.

2) If you are stung by a honey bee it is likely from a female but not the queen. The males (drones) are not able to sting. The queen bee can sting, but since they remain close to the hive, it would be very unlikely to encounter one unless the hive has been disturbed or destroyed.

3) Bees have massive colonies. Honey bee colonies consist of a single queen, hundreds of male drones, and as many as 20,000 to 80,000 worker bees. Each honey bee colony also consists of developing eggs, larvae, and pupae. Many factors must align for the expansion to happen, but if so, a hive can explode to monumental proportions over a relatively short period.

Bees are beneficial pollinators yet still can pose a threat when they nest in inconvenient areas. Eagle Pest Services, your local trusted pest control experts, can handle all your pest concerns to make sure your home or business is safe and pest-free. Bees can often be relocated to safely remove them without harm. Contact us today for a free inspection at 888-616-8739.