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The Brood

§ 31. There are three stages to the development of the insect, whether queen, drone, or worker, before it becomes a perfect insect. These stages are: egg, larva or grub, pupa and chrysalis.

§ 32. The egg is laid by the queen in the bottom of the cell; in three days it hatches into a small, white worm, called “larva,” which, being fed by the bees, increases rapidly in size; when this larva nearly fills the cell, it closed up by the bees.

§ 33. The royal jelly (7), or white pap, which is fed to the queen larva during the entire time of its existence, and to the worker and drone larvae during the first three or four days, is a whitish semi-transparent fluid, said by Cheshire to be produced by the large salivary glands (21) of the worker bees. On the other hand, Cowan and others claim that it is a chyle product of the stomach of the worker, regurgitated by them at will. During the latter part of their life as larvae, both the workers and the drones are fed with a coarser food, which appears to be a mixture of pollen (55) and honey (49).

§ 34. The student will readily learn to recognize the three different kinds of brood.

The queencell (42) hangs from the edges of the comb, looking, when empty, like an acorn cup, and when sealed like a peanut. The worker-brood when sealed differs from sealed honey in its uniformity and in the leathery appearance of its capping. The drone-brood differs from it in the more rounded shape of its cappings, which (to quote one of our contemporaries, Mr. Pellett) look like bullets (Queencells, Fig. 5 and 65).

§ 35. The worker develops from the egg in 21 days. The drone hatches in twenty-four days, and if the weather is propitious he will “fly” in a few days after. The queen matures in fifteen days.

§ 36. In ordinary circumstances the workerbee does not leave the hive until about eight days after hatching. During that time she is not idle. She serves as a nurse to the other young bees. At about the eighth day, she takes her first flight, and a number of them usually take flight together, in the warmth of the afternoon. They fly about the entrance, in happy and humming crowds, making peaceable circles to learn the location and appearance of their home so as to return to it without error (69).

It is of some importance for the beginner to learn to recognize the first flight of young bees, as the bustle of their pleasant sally somewhat resembles the actions of robber-bees, with which it must not be confounded. We will speak of this later (84) at the chapter upon “robbing”.

§ 37. Duration of development of the brood, from the egg to the perfect insect:

The above figures represent the time required in summer weather. In cool or cold temperatures the time is somewhat lengthened.

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