Bees generally mate at a collective mating site while flying in midair. The female bees typically mate with several male bees to collect all the sperm needed to last their entire lifetime. Male honeybees and some other species of bees die after the mating process, while other species of bees mate with multiple females.
Depending on the species, female bees find shelter for the winter or return to their nest to lay their eggs. Solitary female bees build their nest and place food inside before laying the eggs. The construction of the nest, the food the bees use and the way the eggs are positioned are determined by the species of bee. Some species of bees lay one egg in each nest they build, while others divide the nest into multiple chambers. The majority of solitary bees seal the nest or the nest's chambers after laying the eggs. These bees typically lay their eggs in the fall, and the eggs hatch in the spring. This means that the bees never see their offspring because they die during the winter.
Social bees have a queen that lays thousands of eggs. The eggs are placed inside individual cells in the hive, and the queen controls whether the eggs she lays are male or female. The stored sperm of the queen bee produces females, while unfertilized eggs become males.Learn More
The hornet queen starts the hive's nest. She uses her mandibles to scrap away pieces of wood fiber from any available source. The scrapings are then broken down by a mixture of saliva and water inside the queen's mouth. After a site is chosen for the nest, the queen uses the pulp formed inside of her mouth to create a base on a sheltered support structure to suspend the nest.Full Answer >
Honeybees communicate via chemical signals known as pheromones and through a movement-based communication known as dancing. Their pheromone communication serves to cement the position of the queen, to suppress egg laying by workers, to attract mates and to keep group cohesion while swarming. Dancing is performed by foraging worker bees to inform other bees in the hive about food they have located.Full Answer >
Worker wasps hatch in the spring and live until temperatures dip below freezing. The queen lives much longer, continuing the breeding cycle for several years.Full Answer >
Rain chills the flight muscles that bees need to fly, so while they can fly in the rain for a limited amount of time, they tend to avoid it. Bees will stay in their hives if barometric pressure indicates rain is on the way.Full Answer >