Earlier this week, I had access to some comb from a hive that was being removed from a house.  Since I had my camera with me, the bees were fairly docile, and the comb was just lying on the deck, I took a look to see what was going on….

There are 3 stages of development of the bee – egg, larva, and pupa.  The queen deposits the egg in the bottom of the cell, in three days it hatches into a small white worm called a larva.  They are fed a mixture of pollen and honey by the bees.

When the cell is nearly filled by the growing larva, it’s closed up by the bees.  The larva then enters the chrysalis or pupa stage.

The worker develops from the egg in 21 days.

This cell was nicked during the removal – see the eye on the pupa?

This cell was nicked also – can you see the developing mite on the side of the pupa?

Finally, it’s time for the baby bee to emerge!

One antenna…

Two antennae and a head!

“Oh please!  Would someone just pick me up??”

Come on, little one…not much further.

Finally!  A brand new baby bee!   The wings are still folded in the shape of the cell and she’s so fluffy!

During the first eight days of her life she serves as nurse to the larvae.

Around the eighth day of maturity, she will take flight from the hive.

It was fascinating watching this whole process – truly amazing insects.