Why does a queen bee sing? Is it vanity, supremacy or is it simply a method to attract the attention of the hive? All queen bees can resort to singing for various reasons and the sound emitted is able to be perceived by all other bees.
What is the song of the queen bees?
The song of the queen bees is a particular sound emitted by the latter as a form of communication within the hive.
Singing is therefore a natural phenomenon that occurs for specific purposes.
The queen bee emits particular vibrations by simulating the motion of flight but without flapping its wings. Her particular movement creates an energy that echoes and vibrates in her chest, giving rise to a very clear and well audible sound.
The sound emitted by bees is very loud. It is compared to music as a song because after careful analysis the sound of the queen bees has been classified as a noise that is very close to that of some musical notes, namely the "G sharp" and "A". The queen bees sing intermittently and not continuously. Pulses of about two seconds are emitted and then a series of shorter beeps lasting about a quarter of a second.
When the queens sing
Whether it is an adult queen bee or a little more than a larva, singing is a tool that queens can and are able to use from the first moments of their birth. Obviously the sound emitted is different according to the age of the bee that emits it.
For example, the song of an adult queen will be different from that of a young or even a newborn queen.
Generally speaking, the first reason that queen bees sing is undoubtedly jealousy. Don't be surprised! By now we know the world of bees well and for this reason we are able to state that there is never room for two queens in hives! For this reason, when this situation occurs, the queen bee uses this tool to intimidate the opposing bee.
For this reason, singing takes on a form of warning to create fear in the bee competing in the same role, it is almost like a war call in which the queen in question wants to establish her supremacy over the other.
In fact, it is usual that more queens are grown in the hives and then challenge each other in a deadly duel in which the only survivor will deserve to fill the important role of queen. Competitiveness in the hive is therefore very high and it is not uncommon that in some cases the queen begins to sing even just to get particular attention from both the workers and the drones, asking for their support and admiration.
Once the battle is over, the queen bee does not stop quiet anyway. When she reaches the end of her mission, since she is no longer able to lay eggs, the queen bee must get away and leave to leave the hive.
Shortly before the swarming and then the abandonment of the hive to give the role to the new virgin queens, the bee begins to sing. In this case the queen tries in every way to delay the birth of the new virgins and urges the workers to keep them at bay before she leaves. To delay their birth, the worker bees work by adding layers of wax to the royal cells to prevent birth.
Only after the queen has left the hive will the virgins be able to emerge, if this happens before, it could lead to useless mortal battles.
The song of virgin bees and that of fertile bees
We can clearly distinguish the sound emitted by virgin queen bees and that emitted by fertile queen bees. As for the former, their song is much more acute and harsh than that of the latter, which instead turns out to be much more regulated and mature.
Usually virgin queen bees often tend to sing especially before emerging from their cell.
We therefore understood how the queen communicates with her hive and how singing constitutes a fundamental element for the functioning of the hive and in general, for the survival of the species.
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The queen bees constitute a real pillar within the hive and without their presence it would be absolutely impossible for all the other bees to survive.
The task of a queen bee is to carry on the development and growth of the swarm. The queen bee is selected from birth by its workers who will choose a larva to feed differently from the others for its entire growth. We always remember that a queen bee constantly needs the support of her workers and that their collaborative work gives life to a very precise and perfectly functional mechanism.
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