The colony lives on the comb, using the cells for storage of honey, water, pollen and to raise the young.
Colonies are birthed naturally from parent colonies into a swarm. The swarm gathers in a cluster until scouts find a new home. They are a super-organism. A single being.
The fullest expression of a bee colony is a round shape. They build in curves.
When we put bees into a man made box we become stewards and guardians. We are responsible for them, as much as we can be.
We begin with the three types of energies in the hive: Queen/mother, worker/maiden/female/sister, drone/male/brother.
Female Bee: smallest of the bees and the most prolific. The female be does almost everything except reproduce individual bees. She has a stinger, the drone does not.
Female bee jobs: the maiden collects nectar in the later part of her life.
She raises and cares for the brood, tending each capped cell and feeding the babies as the hatch.
The maiden builds comb and collects nectar. She stores nectar in the comb until it is ripe, then seals it in with a wax capping.
The maiden keeps the hive cool. She bends her abdomen and fans her wings, directing air into the hive.
The maidens build comb. They hang off one another and follow the shapes of gravity. They can build comb practically over night.
She brings pollen back attached to her legs in little pollen pockets.
She acts as guard bee at the entrance to the hive.
The Drone: biggest/fattest bee, largest eyes, big round abdomen and no stinger. The drone's purpose is to mate with a queen and help maintain hive temps.
The Queen: Longer abdomen to hold sperm sac and eggs, shiny thorax, stinger. She does not die when she stings and can sting multiple times.
The mother is always surrounded by attendants who feed and clean her.
The queen surrounded by attendants even after colony has absconded. They will not leave her.