Observations on honeybees attending their queen

M. Delia Allen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Summary: 1.The ages of the attendants of a honeybee queen, and the time spent feeding her, were observed. The colony was in a three-frame observation hive, which resulted in the rate of egg-laying of the queen being restricted (mean 504 eggs per day). At first the mean number of feeds was 4.8 per hour, but after swarm preparations had commenced the number of feeds declined.2.Usually only one or two bees (maximum five) supplied the queen with food between each period of egg-laying. The egg-production between successive feeds was observed.3.The ages of the bees which examined the queen with their antennae varied between a few hours and 36 days. A smaller number of bees, from one to 30 days old, licked the queen. Bees from one to 11 days old fed the queen.4.The mean age of bees feeding the queen was significantly reduced after the construction of queen cells had started.5.The duration of each feed was 47±2.6 seconds. There was no obvious relationship between the age of the workers and the duration of feeds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-69
Number of pages4
JournalThe British Journal of Animal Behaviour
Issue number2
Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 1955


Dive into the research topics of 'Observations on honeybees attending their queen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this