Hive is the house of honey bee, constructed by the worker bees with the help of wax, resin and gum. Wax is secreted from the wax gland present in the abdomen of the worker bees. Resin and gums are collected from different trees by the worker bees. The hive of honey bee compose of a complete society of bees consisting all the castes.
Hives are hanging vertically from tree’s branches buildings and rocks. It consists of hexagonal cells arranged in two vertical rows. Each hive consists thousand cells. These cells are differentiated into 5 types according to their content. These are as follows-
- QUEEN CELLS: These are the larger cells present in a very few numbers. These are used only for the queen rearing, so that it is called queen cells. The queen cell is used only for one time by the queen.
- DRONE CELLS: These cells smaller than the queen cells and larger than the worker cells. There are about 200-300 drone cells in a bee hive. The drones are reared in those cells.
- WORKER CELLS: These are smaller than the others in size but larger in quantity. The worker bees are reared here.
- BROOD CELLS: These are the cells where the larvae of the honey bee is reared and developed. These cells occupying the central region of the comb.
- STORAGE CELLS: The worker bees collect nectar and pollen from various flowers. The sored the pollen and honey in this particular storage cells. These cells are present on the margin and the top of the comb.
MAINTENANCE OF HIVE: The maintenance of the hive is also done by the worker bees. The perform all the necessary duties to keep the hive livable.
- They remove the dead bodies and other impurities from the hive cells and keep the hive clean.
- They repair the crack walls of the hive’s cells with propolis. Propolis is a resinous substance which is collected by the worker bees from different plants and they use it like glue to bind broken part of hive.
The honey bees not only care for their hive but also care for the members of the hive, and shows eusociality. Hive making is also a character of social organism. The social organization of honey bee is very well developed and they are called as social insect.