Do Queen Bees Die After Stinging?

Like almost all creatures, bees are female and male. Female bees are very different from each other and their role differs in the biology of the bee family: The Mother provides reproduction and the workers take care of the offspring. This division of labor makes the actions of female bees particularly effective. In contrast, male bees – drones, are characterized by bohemian disinterest and carelessness about the fate of all other members of the bee family.

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Do Queen Bees die after stinging?

Queen bees can sting, but their stinger is not barbed and they can actually sting you multiple times without dying. She almost always uses her sting against a rival. She can even sting flying bees in self-defense. Find out if all other bees die after stinging. When marked and if she is not fertilized, she could sting a person. The sting is not painful, but causes itching, sometimes up to 3 days. The fertilized mother will never sting a man.

The unfertilized mother, who took off during the inspection of the hive, returns after a few minutes. It is necessary to leave the hive open. If there is no open brood in the bee family, it means that it is without a mother. Then the bees begin to build queens.

Drones and their fate after mating

The drones have only one concern: to reach the mother in the air and fertilize her. This is done by the fastest, most agile, strongest, and then he dies. This cruel fate befalls him for the following reason: By reaching the flying mother, the drone attaches itself to her abdomen with paws resembling secret buttons so that the two bodies can continue to fly synchronously and rub to perform sexual intercourse. The drone then falls and his equivalent of a penis breaks and death ensues from the ensuing hemorrhage.

Drones live only during the summer months. After the mother is fertilized and begins to lay eggs, the drones become redundant, the bees throw them out and do not allow them into the hive.

The Mother Bee

She is the largest bee in the hive. She has highly developed reproductive organs. Her only function is to lay eggs. She lays up to 1500-2000 eggs a day, visiting only cleaned and covered with propolis cells.  All other functions inherent in single bees (collecting nectar and pollen, transporting them to the hive, stuffing it in cells and canning with propolis) she has lost.

Despite the differences in their functions and structure, the three categories of bees can only exist together, because neither the mother nor the workers are able to ensure the survival of the offspring. To lay eggs from which to hatch a brood, the mother needs the help of tens of thousands of workers and several hundred drones. For this reason, the honey bee lives in communities of several thousands of individuals, each performing activities that benefit the whole family.

The honey bee, along with ants and termites, belongs to the social insects. It appeared on earth in the Jurassic period of the Mesozoic era, in which angiosperms dominated. The gradual transition of insects to feeding on nectar and pollen contributes to the development of social instincts and the formation of the bee family. Functional differentiation is enhanced and expressed in their behavioral responses.

The structure in the honey bee community is too complex. In bees, there is a division of labor, in which each category (mother, drones and workers) is characterized by radically different and distinct functions.

Interesting data about the mother bee

Facts about the mother beeNumbers
Laying eggs per day1500-2000  
Laying eggs per year~ 200 000
Newly hatched weight138.8 – 212.1 mg
Fertilized weight230- 300 mg  
Length16-20 mm  
Surviving without food17 hours
Feeding herselfUp to the 8th day, after that other bees feed her
Amount of royal hatching cells3

The mother bee has two main functions, ensuring the unity and existence of the bee family with the help of the uterine substance and guaranteeing the reproduction of the bees. Without a mother, the family cannot exist! When the mother dies, the bees immediately start producing new mothers – often several to several dozen. The family, however, needs one mother. Therefore, the first hatched mother destroys the other mothers by stinging their larvae, which are in the pupae phase. The mother performs her reproductive function with great perfection, laying up to 2,000 eggs every single day. In a year the laid eggs exceed 200,000!

The newly hatched mother weighs 138.8 – 212.1 mg (the weight of the fertilized mothers is 230 – 300 mg). The mother should weigh not less than 180 mg. The weight and size of the mothers depend on the bee family, origin, environment, quality and quantity of food in the queens, climate and season. It varies widely but averages 265 mg. at a length of 16 – 20 mm. Mothers with the highest weight hatch from queen cells with a length of 19 to 24 mm. Mother bees of such length are the queens for “quiet change” (when the bee family only replaces its mother in the absence of swarming), as well as some swarming queens. Large mothers are no guarantee of fertility. Mothers with less weight should not be destroyed. They survive starvation until 17 hours after hatching.

Larva and hatching of Queens

If the larva from which the mother is to hatch is fed unsuitable food, it has the characteristics typical of a worker: a longer proboscis, pollen baskets, black legs and fewer fallopian tubes. Such mothers should be destroyed. At lower temperatures, non-dolphin mothers hatch (wings and legs are most often affected).

Immediately after hatching, the mother is in its largest form and loses 1 mg of weight each hour. This is necessary for the view of the forthcoming orientation flights and honeymoon flights.

After hatching, the mother is weak, timid and hungry. Her shyness is due to nervousness, which is intensified by the sounds made by other queen bees hatching in the neighboring cells. The instinct for self-preservation is the reason why she strives to sting(kill) the other mothers before they hatch. For this purpose, it gnaws through their cells and kills them through the opening.

All other functions (collection of nectar and pollen, protection of the bee family, care for the offspring, for their own nutrition, etc.) she has lost in the course of evolution. Even her appearance is different from that of workers and drones, with the most developed being her abdomen (it extends from the ends of the wings) in which her highly developed genital system is housed.

Only the young mother (up to the 8. Day after hatching) can feed herself. She is then fed by suckling bees, which constantly chase her to give her a portion of royal jelly.

New mother in the beehive?

A new queen can be planted in the hive: she is released directly into the hive at night or placed in a cage between two combs until the bees release her themselves (by eating the sugar-copper dough, with which the opening of the hive is filled). Then the bee family should be left at complete rest for 1 week. Excessive curiosity on the part of the beekeeper and premature disturbance can cause the bees to accumulate on the mother and cause her death. It is necessary to wait for the inspection of the hive until the sealing of the brood (the 9th day after planting the mother).

The bee family only replaces its mother when the first signs of aging appear. It begins with the construction of 2-3 large queen cells, whitish in color, abundantly filled with royal jelly. They are located vertically and close to each other in a well-protected place.

The mother releases three pheromones: orientation, protective and reproductive ones. Orientation pheromones are produced in the olfactory (Nason) gland, protective – in the maxillary gland, and the third represents the uterine substances that are secreted by the maxillary gland and their poisonous glands.

The mother lives for several years (up to seven), but the beekeeper replaces it after two because in the first years she is the most productive. Some beekeepers replace the mothers every year.

If the mother has deformed legs or a crooked body, she can lay eggs on the sidewalls of the cells. Such eggs hatch into a normal generation, but bees replace such queens. If drone eggs appear among the brood, this is proof that the semen in the mother’s seminal vesicle has been used up and the mother must be replaced.


The mother bee or also called the queen bee is the leader of the beehive. If there is no leader, the pact cannot thrive. Their leader can only be female and when a new queen hatches, she kills all her rivals (some of them unhatched) and the old queen leaves the nest.  


Hey there, I'm Jan! Bees are my passion since I was a little kiddo. My grandpa always said that passing knowledge to new people is the most honorable and meaningful thing to do. So here I am, passing my knowledge to you. Protect the bee, respect the bee!

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