Page Last Modified:
08 May 2007


Brood

Eggs Larvae Capped Brood Pupae Adults
Table of Brood Cycle


The brood in a colony consists of the developing bees. The brood is a very crucial part of the future of the colony. Unfortunately, there are many pests and diseases that attack and thrive on the brood, some of which are discussed on the "Pests & Diseases" page.



Picture of Eggs (Smith)
Picture of Eggs (Smith)
Eggs

The eggs are laid one to a cell by the queen. They look like a tiny grain of rice, only about one-eight of an inch long. After three days, the egg hatches into a grub.


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Picture of Larvae (Smith)
Picture of Larvae (Smith)
Larvae

Healthy larvae are glistening and pearly-white in color. They should be at the bottom of the cells in the shape of a 'C.' This is the stage that the bees feed the larvae. It is toward the end of this stage (before capping) that many pests and diseases enter the cell.


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Picture of Capped Brood (Smith)
Picture of Capped Brood (Smith)
Capped Brood

The workers will then cap the brood. The larvae stretch out lengthwise in their cells and spin a cocoon. The larvae then change into pupae.


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Picture of Pupae (Smith)
Picture of Pupae (Smith)
Pupae

During the beginning of the pupal stage, the pupae remain white and glistening. The eyes are the first to take color, followed by the rest of the body. The pupae then change into adults.


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Picture of an Emerging Adult (Smith)
Picture of an Emerging Adult (Smith)
Adults

The adults emerge about one day after changing from pupae (one and a half for drones). Each adult must chew through the wax capping and then crawl out of the cell. The next steps depend on the caste of the bee.


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Brood Cycle of the Honey Bee Castes (In Days)
Stage Drone Queen Worker
Egg Hatches 3 3 3
Cell Capped 10 8 8
Pupa 14 10 11
Adult 22.5 15 20
Emergence 24 16 21
("Honey Bees and Beekeeping")

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