Need pest help? Save $50 on your first recurring service today with code GET50

Life Cycle of a Honey Bee

The life cycle begins when an established colony's queen begins laying eggs within individual cells inside a honeycomb.

Queens store more than 5 million sperm cells inside their bodies, enabling them to lay eggs throughout their life after only one mating flight. When the eggs hatch, those that were fertilized become female worker bees, while the unfertilized eggs become male bees, or drones. It is the responsibility of the queen to lay enough fertilized eggs to produce a well-developed force of worker bees for the colony.

Bees pass through four stages: eggs, larvae, pupae and adults. Bee eggs measure approximately 1 mm long. Queen bees examine their eggs before placing them side by side at the center of the comb frame, with pollen surrounding them. Queens can lay up to 2,000 eggs each day throughout the spring. As queens age, the number of eggs they lays significantly diminishes. They may also no longer be able to place the eggs closely together, resulting in a patchy comb.

After three days, the eggs hatch into larvae, which have no eyes, wings, legs or antennae. Inside the hives, certain bees are responsible for feeding the larvae with a combination of pollen and honey. Around six days after hatching as larvae, they reach the third stage, spin cocoons and eventually hatch into adult bees after another seven to 10 days. Like ants, newly hatched bees have different designated responsibilities until they grow old.

Bee Season

Bee Nest Identification


Dig Deeper on Honey Bees

What is the Habitat of a Honey Bee? | Honey Bee Colonies

Bee Sting Allergies | Get Rid of Stinging Insects

How are Bumblebees and Honey Bees Different?

How to Identify European Honey Bees | Bee Facts

Image coming soon

What Do Bee Stings Look Like? | Prevent Bee Stings

Honey Bees

Honey bee illustration

What Do Honey Bees Sound Like?

Honey Bee Colony

What Do Honey Bees Collect?

Life Cycle of a Honey Bee

Connect with Us

Our customer care team is available for you 24 hours a day.


Find a Branch

Our local Pros are the pest experts in your area.

Get a Personalized Quote

We will help you find the right treatment plan for your home.



Pest ControlTermite ControlPrevent and Protect


Browse All Pests

© 2023 Orkin LLC

Terms of UsePrivacyAccessibility StatementCareers