Typical of the most advanced insects, bees exhibit complete development or complete metamorphosis. This means that the young and the adults look very different and the diet of the young and the adults typically differ, preventing the parents from competing with their offspring for resources. The life stages are egg, larva, pupa and adult. Development from egg to new worker typically takes two to three weeks.
Egg Stage of Bees Life
The eggs are described as having an appearance similar to sausage-shaped poppy seeds. Each egg has a small opening at the broad end of the egg, the micropyle, that allows for passage of sperm. Hatching takes place three days after egg laying.
Larva Stage of Bees Life
The larva stage lasts eight to nine days. Upon hatching, the larva is almost microscopic, resembling a small, white, curved, segmented worm lacking legs and eyes. For the first two days, all larvae are fed a diet of royal jelly. Beginning the third day, worker larvae are fed honey, pollen and water, while the larvae destined to become queens continue to receive royal jelly throughout their larval lives. Regardless of whether the larva is male or female, it molts five times during its larval stage.
Pupa Stage of Bees Life
The pupal stage is a stage of massive reorganization of tissues. Organs undergo a complete reorganization, while body changes from the wormlike larval body shape to the adult body shape with three distinct body regions. Pupation periods vary: queens require up to 7.5 days, drones require14.5 days, while workers require 12 days.
Adult Stage of Bees Life
Adult bees are either workers (sterile females), queens (fertile females), or drones (fertile males). A typical honeybee colony consists of 50,000-60,000 sterile workers, 500 to 1000 drones (fertile males) and one queen, the only fertile female in the colony and mother of the entire population of the hive.