Beekeepers should have a good understanding on bee behavior. As a beekeeper, he should recognize the three forms that a colony have and how they reproduce.

A colony have three forms of life: The queen, the workers and the drones. A drone begins life as an unfertilized egg, laid in a cell that is slightly wider and deeper than a worker cell, but not as deep as a queen cell. A drone egg hatches into a larva after three days; the larva is fed by the workers as usual. Drone brood is capped after nine and a half days, and the drone emerges on the 24th day.

A drone has only one job – to impregnate a virgin queen. Unfortunately, a drone dies in the act of mating. At certain times a day, drones congregate in a certain places. If a queen enters that airspace at the time, drones will attempt to mate with her. Outside that area or that time period, she will be ignored. The question of how drone congregate areas are designated and become known to drones and virgin queen is one of the enduring mysteries of beekeeping.

A small population of drones is typically kept around the hive in case a new queen from that or another nearby hive need to be mated. In times of death (shortage of food), drones are expelled from the hive, where they starve.

Honeybee colonies reproduce. This is triggered by lack of space in the hive for honey storage or brood-rearing. What happens is:

1. The workers rear a new queen.

2. After the new queen mates, she takes over the existing hive, while

3. The old queen leaves, with a large fraction of the workers to establish a new colony somewhere else.

Source by Shannon De Piolenc