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  • eliochel

"Mother of the hive" better describes a queen bee's role in her hive.

Although in English we call her the queen, she does not play the role of a traditional monarch, and many languages call her "mother." Instead, she is the mother of the hive; she lays eggs and her presence holds the hive together socially, largely by the pheromones she and her developing offspring emit. As any beekeeper knows, the colony of bees loses its focus and strength when the queen is absent, just as when a family is without a mother. In any colony, most decisions are made by the worker bees. The worker bees feed, groom and clean her. Queen bees are not in total control of egg laying either. She does decide if a brood cell is clean enough and suitable in which to lay her eggs. However, worker bees decide which cells they will clean and polish for her and even if they will prepare any for her. Even major decisions such as swarming and replacing the queen are made by the workers.

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