What are the bee larvae called?

What are the bee larvae called?

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Bee larvae, as well as eggs and pupae, belong to the brood. Typically, the pupa is a sealed brood and the eggs are an open brood. As you know, the queen bee lays eggs in the queen cells, after which she fertilizes them. Subsequently, other queens, working individuals, develop and grow from the eggs. If the clutch for some reason was not fertilized by the uterus, then drones - males - will appear from the eggs.

How many days does a bee hatch

Honeybees live in nature in families of tens of thousands of workers and only one queen of the hive. As a rule, drones are needed only in the summer period and their number is much less - 100-200 pcs.

The uterus is engaged in laying eggs, the number of new individuals depends on its quality. Most of all, female worker bees are born. After 21 days, the bees are hatched, which are workers. The period of development of the uterus is much shorter and takes only 16 days.

After the working individuals have been born, they first perform work in the hive; upon reaching adulthood, they can leave the hive:

  • 1-3 days - cleaners (gnaw out pupae from the cells, clean the hive);
  • 3-13 days - nurses (they process honey with bee bread, feed the queen, drones, bee cubs);
  • 13-23 days - receptionists (take pollen, nectar, enrich with enzymes);
  • 23-30 days - sentries (guarding the hive).

Males, i.e. drones, develop within 24 days after the uterus has laid eggs. The life cycle of a drone bee is no more than 3 months.

Attention! In addition to the fact that the species of individuals differ in development time, they eat different foods during the growth process.

Bee development stages

The cells used for the development of bees are different in size from ordinary honeycombs. Development is carried out in several stages:

  • egg - the queen bee is engaged in laying them. This stage lasts 3 days. It is important to take into account the fact that this period is the same for everyone - worker bees, drones, mother;
  • larva - this stage takes 6 days. For the first 3 days, they receive food from lactating individuals. Initially, royal jelly is obtained, after the diet includes a mixture of honey and bee bread;
  • prepupa - this stage of development lasts 2 days for queens and workers, 4 days for drones;
  • pupa - insects stay in this state for 6 days, after which they turn into adult insects. Pupae remain motionless and without food for about 21 days. The moment molt occurs, bees appear;
  • an adult - for the first few days, they receive food from older bees, after which they begin to consume honey and bee bread on their own.

After the young individuals are born, they must first get acquainted with the uterus - touch it with their antennae, studying the smell. These stages remain unchanged, regardless of the breed of bees living in the beekeeper's apiary, and the type of larvae: the queen of the hive, drones, working insects.

Bee larva: name and development cycles

Bees are insects that undergo complete transformation. Before the spinning stage of the worm, which later becomes a bee, begins, it changes its skin 4 times. The stages of development from egg to bee are characterized by different body structure, feeding habits and behavior of individuals. It is also important to consider the fact that workers, drones and queens develop differently. That is, they have different developmental times, they receive different feed.

What does a larva look like

The larvae have a simple structure: a small head, a white worm-like body, which includes the abdominal and thoracic segments. On the outside, the shell is covered with a small layer of chitin.

In both bee larvae and young bees, the intestines play an important role, as a rule, the anterior arrow resembles a tube with muscles. In the process of intestinal contraction, the insect absorbs liquid food, thereby developing.

Most of the body is occupied by the middle intestine, along which the excretory organs are located. The hindgut is curved, with the anus at the end. The heart is located in the dorsal part and consists of 12 chambers, but the number of chambers in an adult bee is only 5. As you know, the genitals and nervous system are closed, eyes and sense of smell are completely absent. On the lower lip there are spinning glands, with the help of which the insect spins a cocoon for itself in the future.

Working insects and drones are laid in the same conditions, unlike queens - a special place is allocated for them, since more space is required during the development process. For 3 days, everyone is fed with royal jelly, after it becomes known who exactly will hatch, all individuals are transferred to a mixture of honey and bee bread. Royal jelly continues to be given only to the uterus.

Nutrition and number of feedings

Undoubtedly, the pattern and development cycle of the bee are quite important points, but a special role is given to the quality and quantity of nutrition, due to which the larvae develop. It is important to understand that the type of nutrition depends entirely on who will be born - a queen bee or a working individual. Many families can feed the offspring in the same way. The first 3 days of life, the larvae receive the same food - royal jelly. Bees produce milk with the help of the upper or lower jaw. This food product contains all vitamins necessary for development.

After 3 days, the bees are transferred to a mixture of honey and bee bread, while the queens receive milk throughout their development. The developmental period lasts 5 days. The formation time of open brood drones is 7 days, working insects - 6 days.

Feeding is an important and energy-consuming process. If the brood remains without food for at least a couple of minutes, then it dies. The responsibilities of the wet nurse include the production of about 1,500 portions of milk.

Advice! For the full development of the offspring, it is necessary to provide the required temperature regime.


In addition to the life cycle of the bee, it is necessary to understand what microclimate must be observed in the hive for the full development of the larvae. As a rule, the first sowing occurs in February. During this period, it is very important to maintain the required temperature and humidity level. The development of larvae requires temperatures ranging from + 32 ° C to + 35 ° C. If the temperature drops below the minimum allowable level, the brood will grow weakened. Young bees will be underdeveloped, some may have deformed wings.

It is also important to understand that there should not be an increase in the temperature regime above the maximum permissible level, since in this case the brood may die. During cold weather, individuals nestle against the walls of the cells, thereby creating the necessary microclimate for the development of larvae. On hot days, insects lower the temperature on their own. To do this, they begin to flap their wings rather quickly, providing air flow.

Prepupal stage

At the moment when the larvae are in the sealed cell, they straighten up and begin to spin a cocoon, that is, they begin the pupation process. This stage is called the pre-pupal stage. A prepupa later develops inside the cocoon. After 24 hours, this process comes to an end, after a few more hours the first molt begins. The old shell of the pupa remains in the cell and is there until the very end, where it mixes with feces.

Final stage: chrysalis

Bees in the developmental stage from testicle to pupa go through a sufficient number of stages to turn into an adult, and this stage is the final one. The skeleton of the pupa becomes dark and after 2-3 days a young insect is born. An insect that is born must go through 4 stages of molting, after which it gnaws the lid and leaves the cell.

Newly born bees have a soft body with a lot of hairs. In the process of development and growth, the shell hardens, the hairs wear out. The development of a worker takes 21 days.

Final molt

The rather fast development cycle of the bee from the larvae does not affect the size of the bee garment, that is, the shell, which stretches as the individual grows. At the moment, when the robe becomes too small for the bee, the larva, which many beekeepers call children, changes it in accordance with its size.

It is important to take into account the fact that in the process of growth and development, the bee larva molts 4 times, the duration is about 30 minutes:

  1. 12-18 hours after the larva was born.
  2. The next molt occurs 36 hours after the first.
  3. For the third change of clothing, 60 hours must elapse from hatching.
  4. The final molt occurs in 90 hours.

When the larva turns 6 days old, it occupies the cell completely. At the same time, no changes are observed with molting and the body of the future bee.

Important! The discarded clothes after the larva molt remain in the cell.

How bees develop in a hollow

The process of brood development in wild and domestic bees is not much different. Insects go through similar developmental stages. The only exception is that beekeepers can provide their bee colonies with the necessary microclimate for the development of larvae, while wild bees do everything on their own.

In addition, it is important to take into account the fact that domestic bees use the same cells to raise their offspring a large number of times. Until the beekeeper replaces them. Since in the process of vital activity of the larvae, the cells decrease and weak individuals are born. Wild bees fill the cells from the brood with honey, as these cells become much stronger over time, as a result of which they will not collapse.


Bee larvae are the first stage of development in the brood. As a rule, the larvae receive a large amount of food, and along with it, valuable elements necessary for full development. While maintaining the necessary microclimate, healthy individuals are born, which rather quickly begin to perform their direct duties in the bee family.

Watch the video: Time-Lapse Video of Full Honey Bee Development