How do bees decide to set up a hive somewhere?


For example, the bees in this video creating a gigantic hive in someone’s floor:

I know that bees follow the queen around but how does a hive even get into someone’s floor in the first place? And related- how do bees create a queen bee?

In: 5

I think they have scouts looking around when the bee population gets large, then they find a place- like a hollow log, or the hollow space in someone’s ceiling, or, in this case, someone’s floor. They will swarm and half will go to the new nest with a new queen, and half will stay with the old one. But that’s only the case for some bees, bumblebees have nests in the ground and most species of bees are solitary, so they’ll drill holes in wood, dig holes in the dirt, or live in hollow plant stems.

When a hive gets too big or a queen starts to get too old, the “nurse bee” workers will create new queens by feeding one or more of the larvae with what’s called “royal jelly” in amounts that exceed what is given to normal workers and drones. This causes those larvae to grow into fertile queens and if the existing queen is healthy, she drives out the new one(s), who leaves with a drone (male) and goes to find a place to lay eggs and start a new hive. What they look for is a protected area that can be kept cool in the summer and warm in the winter. House walls and floors are actually just exactly what fits their criteria IF they can find a way in.

Bees don’t. The Queen looks around for a sheltered place that can be expanded to accommodate the first layer of the colony. The workers follow and obey.