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Which compound is responsible for transforming bee larvae into queen?
A. Royal jelly
B. Royalactin
C. Royal Lecithin
D. All of the above

Last updated date: 13th Jun 2024
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Hint:-Honey bees consist of two types of females – sterile worker bees and fertile queen bee. The fertile queen bee lays eggs in the cells of the honeycomb. Unfertilized eggs become drone males and fertilized eggs become sterile worker female bees.

Complete Answer:-
Every bee colony has only one queen and it is her responsibility to extend the generation. So the queen bee in its very young stages collects sperms from the male drones. Queen bee collects about 5 million sperms at once so that she can reproduce throughout her life. Before laying her eggs she examines each cell in the honeycomb and then releases her eggs in the exact centre of the cell so that worker bees can easily provide food and royal jelly to those eggs.
It is strange to know that the worker bees decide who will be next queen. New larvae are fed royal jelly for the first two days but the larvae which is expected to be the queen is fed royal jelly throughout her life. That is what differentiates queen bee larvae from the sterile worker bees’ larvae. Royal jelly is produced by the glands present in the hypopharynx of the worker bees. This royal jelly leads to the development of ovaries in the larvae.
Royalactin is a protein present in the royal jelly which acts as the inducer for the development of female reproductive organs in the larvae preparing it to become a queen.
Thus, the right option is B.

Additional Information :–
- Queen bees can release around 5000 eggs every day.
- When a virgin bee emerges from a larvae it identifies the other virgin bees present in the colony and fights them to death.
- Queen bees control worker bees by secreting pheromones which are known as queen’s scent.
- There is a drone congregation site in the honeycomb where drones wait to mate with the queen bee.
- Queen takes a small flight to that sight and collects millions of sperms enough to lay eggs for her whole life.

Note:- The quality of eggs laid by the queen depend on the weather and food availability. Queen bee stores sperms collected by mating different drones in her spermatheca.