bee society

The population of a hive: queen, workers and drones.

Society is an intra-specific harmonic ecological relationship. In most bee species, this form of organization is highly concise, with activities being divided among organisms that have anatomical differences according to the function they perform, generally following sexual dimorphism.

In this way, the work is normally performed by worker bees, sterile females (with atrophied reproductive system / inactive ovaries), living on average for a month, during which they are responsible for collecting nectar extracted from flowers, larvae nutrition, cleaning and production of beehive maintenance wax.

Drones, males developed by parthenogenesis (non-fertilized eggs, being, therefore, haploid), have a short life span and are responsible only for the reproductive aspect, fertilizing the eggs that give rise to the workers.

The queen, the only fertile female, survives for long periods (over nine years), responsible for laying eggs, with an average daily production of a thousand eggs, fertilized by the drones during the nuptial flight. This hive matrix arises from larvae fed on royal jelly, a nutritious glandular secretion synthesized by young worker bees. While the other members feed on a mixture of pollen and honey.

A very interesting fact in this society, as well as observed in others, is the signaling mediated by pheromones, chemical substances that provide mutual and sexual recognition between similar organisms, also causing alarm stimuli (defense), population control, route indications (path towards the food source) and others.

When the population of a hive is exceeded (with more than 80 thousand insects), it is necessary to divide the society in two, the action of the pheromone in low concentration, induces the workers to supply royal jelly to the larvae, which differentiate into new queens, replacing the existing one.

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