Differentiated Females

Two weeks ago while inspecting some hives just outside of Willows, CA I shot the video of this queen. She caught my attention because of the distinct striping on her abdomen. Rob Snyder and I were in Willows to inspect and sample hives that were in sunflowers for pollination service.

Tomorrow I have a presentation to give for the Marin County Beekeepers. As I put the finishing touches on my presentation I came across a passage in Snodgrass’s, “The Anatomy Of The Honey Bee” that made me rethink what I thought it meant to be a queen and a worker. The passage is below…

“…young female larvae are actually reared by the attendant bees into either workers or queens, the problem of accounting for the difference on purely a nutritional basis is complicated by the fact that, while the queen acquires highly developed ovaries, she lacks all the special features of the worker, such as specialized mandibles, food glands, wax glands, scent gland, the pollen-carrying apparatus of the hind legs, and the complex worker instincts.”

Snodgrass said a lot in just one sentence and this particular passage had me questioning how I defined a queen and worker. I was reminded that uniqueness is not only defined by what attributes one does posses, but also by those that they do not… What I love about science is that the things we study, whether it be an elephant or bee, are all connected in some way or another and the things we learn from our subjects can often be translated to our own species…


Be Involved. Be Included.Bee Informed.