The queen bee is the only fertile female in the bee colony, whose task is to lay eggs, thus enabling the survival of the colony, as well as keeping together the bee colony by secreting pheromones. Females (workers and queens) develop from fertilized eggs, while males (drones) develop from unfertilized.
One bee colony can have only one queen bee. In case more than one queen bee hatch, the colony will divide by natural swarming. The queen bee is fertilized by drones. During her life cycle the queen bee leaves the beehive only once, when mating, and exceptionally if the swarming occurs. Fertilized queen lays eggs into honeycomb cells. Workers hatch from the majority of eggs, drones hatch from the small number and queens hatch from several specially built queen cups.
The queen bee hatches from a fertilized egg and whether or not it will survive depends on the feeding. The queen bee can lay from 2500 to 5000 eggs a day. It differs from the worker bee in its appearance too. Her body is much longer and her abdomen is of a lighter (bronze) colour. Her legs are longer and her back is hairless. She does not have pollen baskets on her back legs for collecting pollen (as worker bees do) and the shape of her sting is different compared to that of the worker bee. The queen bee moves through the beehive in the direction of the Sun. In the morning it is in the eastern part of the beehive, at noon it is between the middle frames, and in the evening on the western side.