No we dont mean Beyonce, we mean the ultimate Queen Bee... Mildred.
Can you spot Mildred in this post?
The queen bee of any hive is the most important bee in the hive. Without her, there would be no colony, However being the queen doesn't always come with a Royal Fanfare and being catered on.
She is usually the mother of most, if not all, of the bees in the beehive. Queens are developed from larvae selected by worker bees and specially fed in order to become sexually mature. There is normally only one adult, mated queen in a hive, in which case the bees will usually follow and fiercely protect her.
The queen bee's abdomen is longer than the worker bees surrounding her and also longer than a male bee's. Even so, in a hive of 60,000 to 80,000 honey bees, it is often difficult for beekeepers to find the queen with any speed; for this reason, many queens in non-feral colonies are marked with a light daub of paint on their thorax. The paint usually does not harm the queen and makes her easier to find when necessary.
Although the color is sometimes randomly chosen, professional queen breeders use a color that identifies the year a queen hatched, which helps them to decide whether their queens are too old to maintain a strong hive and need to be replaced.