The members of the hive are divided into three types — queen, workers, and drones. Each bee has a specific job.
The queen is the largest bee in the hive. However, she can be hard to spot in the middle of thousands of bees! Beekeepers will mark the thorax, or back of the queen with a tiny dot of special bee paint so that she can be easily found. The beekeeping industry will use a special color code to indicate the year the queen was introduced.
The queen's job is to lay the eggs that will spawn the hive’s next generation of bees. A queen bee can lay more than her own weight in eggs each day, which is one every 20 seconds! The worker bees will tend the queen's every need. They will clean her, feed her, and protect her and the hive.
However, when the workers sense that their queen is starting to slow down her egg production, they will begin to feed certain young larvae a special food called royal jelly. Royal jelly is richer than the food given to worker larvae,
and is necessary for these larvae to develop into a fertile queen bee.
Sadly, the first newborn queen that hatches will kill the old queen bee and all the other hatching queen bees. It's not easy being queen.