How Long Does the Queen Bee Live?
How long does a queen bee live? It can range from two to five years. However, it depends on the vitellogenin found in her body. The larvae of the drones can live as long as three years. So, the longer the life span of a queen bee, the more successful she will be as a beekeeper. But the question that always lingers in the minds of beekeepers is “How long does a queen bee live?”
The length of life of queen bees is largely a mystery. Although genetically identical to worker bees, queens live up to 10 times longer than workers and are still reproductively viable throughout their lifetime. A recent study led by researchers at the University of Illinois sheds light on the molecular mechanisms governing queen life span. The researchers focused on the interaction between three different factors that influence longevity in bees. Among these factors are vitellogenin, a yolk protein important for reproduction. The juvenile hormone, meanwhile, contributes to growth and maturation. Finally, the insulin-IGF-1 signaling pathway, which regulates fertility and aging, is also thought to contribute to longevity in bees.
Up to five years
The life span of a bee is estimated by comparing the lifespan of a full-grown queen to that of a worker bee. The lifespan of a worker bee varies from two to six weeks in the summer to twenty to thirty weeks in the winter, depending on the environmental pressures and physiological senescence processes. Since winter bees rarely leave the safe environment of their hive, the lifespan of a summer worker bee is affected by age polyethism.
Dependent on vitellogenin
Vetellogenin is a protein synthesized in the liver under the control of estrogen and transported to the ovary where it is processed to produce the yolk proteins phosvitin and lipovitellin. Although the genes for these proteins have high sequence similarity, they differ greatly in their cleavage sites, with 95% of the gene’s sequence being introns. These introns are repetitive DNA sequences with high levels of homology.
Lifespan of drone larvae
The life of a drone is very short, with an average lifespan of about two months. In the spring, workers and drones will build cells for the larvae to live in. Drones will mate with the queen, but they will die as soon as the queen rips open their abdomen. In bad times, workers and drones may destroy each other’s cells, and a new queen can make drones out of an unfertilized egg in the spring.
Lifespan of worker bees
Lifespan of worker bees can vary greatly depending on the environment. Summer bees have a lifespan of 15 to 38 days, while winter bees live for about 140 days. Environmental factors, such as diet, play a large role in determining AOF. A good colony will have thousands of worker bees, with upwards of 60,000-80,000 individuals. Worker bees start out with the potential to become queens, but they veer off this path at the start of their life.
Impact of pheromone on queen bee lifespan
It has been hypothesized that a queen bee’s pheromones influence the lifespan of her queen hive and her larvae. These bees’ pheromones affect worker behavior and the protein foraging required for brood food. The pheromones of queens and larvae coordinate the care of the brood. These two cues are linked by natural selection. Queens influence worker behavior through the QMP and genes related to nursing.