What Happens after a Queen Bee Hatches?
Usually, several queen-bee larvae are raised at the same time. What happens after a new queen bee (called a virgin queen) hatches depends on what is going on in the hive at the time. If the virgin queen has been raised to replace a failing or dead queen and the hive is not swarming, she will hunt down the pupating queens that are still sleeping in their queen cups and kill them. Then, if the old queen is still around, she may fight her to the death. Or, the hive may kill the old queen by smothering her, packing their bodies around her until she overheats. However, if the hive is swarming, worker bees keep the new queens from killing each other or the existing queen. The existing queen then sets up a new colony with some of the workers. If there are enough workers to create additional swarms, one or more of the new queens will go with each swarm. Once swarming is complete, however, if there is more than one queen bee in a colony, the queens will fight to the death. Then, the surviving q