Hives, Nests, and Jobs

A beehive is a structure that is created by humans to house honey bee nests. A honey bee nest is a house the colonies make themselves that are found in natural or artificial cavities. Honey bees use caves, hollow trees, and rock cavities as natural nesting sites.

The nest is made up of many honeycombs and has a single entrance, usually facing toward the Equator or downward, depending on the bee species. Honey bees often occupy a nest for several years.

The honey bees have a unique and considered harsh caste system:

  • Queen Bee - There is only one queen per hive, and she can live up to five years. She can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day and produces Royal Jelly, a secretion used for nutrition of larvae.
  • Drone Bee - These are the males bees with the sole purpose of mating with the queen bee during the summer. They die after mating or are kicked out of the hive during the fall to make room for new bees.
  • Worker Bee - The female bees of the hive that clean and build the hive, along with collect nectar and pollen. Worker bees that are born in summer will only last about six weeks before dying of exhaustion, while workers born in the winter month can survive four to nine months.