A bee egg is about the size of
the dot of an "i." A bee starts to
develop as soon as the queen lays the egg. After
three days, a tiny wormlike larva crawls
out of the egg. The workers place larval food,
called royal jelly, in the bottom of
each cell. Royal jelly is a creamy substance,
rich in vitamins and proteins, formed by glands
in the heads of young worker bees. When the larva
is three days old, the workers begin feeding it a
mixture of honey and pollen called beebread.
Five days after the lava hatches, the workers
build a wax cap over the cell. The wormlike larve
subsequently becomes a pupa, which in
turn develops into an adult. The adult worker bee
leaves the cell 21 days after the egg is laid.
Drones take 24 days to develop fully.
Below: A bee's development
begins as an egg (lower left), then proceeds
through larval forms to pupal stages at right.