This is one amazing bee; she is the heart of every beehive and one tough lady! Everything the bees do is for the queen bee, they live only to serve her and her needs. They collect pollen, make honey, make the hive and produce royal jelly just for her! All the other creatures that benefit from bees are merely secondary to the queens needs.
The queen is born in a special cell called the royal brood where 10 to 20 special worker bees dedicated to the queen (current and future) will take an egg and put it in a cell with royal jelly. This jelly is magic (that is best way to explain it) and will cause any ordinary egg to hatch a queen bee. If more than one queen bee is born then the potential queens will fight to the death until only one is left, a bit more than a sexy pillow fight. If all the queen bees die than the workers will produce another queen bee as only one queen bee needs to hatch.
As the queen grows she will be much larger then all the other bees as her abdomen will house 1000 to 2000 eggs and lay eggs for 2 to 7 years. When the queen is ready she will fly out of the hive and mate with a drone seeking to fertilize a queen, she will then fly back and get ready to start laying eggs for the workers to take care of. Virgin and laying queens are not hard to spot in the hive, as they will run across the combs and over top of the drones/workers to get cover, the queen is most important after all! When it comes to the queen bee the needs of one bee out weigh the needs of many, that is why when you disturb a hive the bees will sting, knowing they will die to ward off the threat.
When the queen starts to get close to running out of eggs the bees will start making another queen. Also if the hive gets too large a group of bees will starting making another queen and then a fly off and start a new hive.
Nature never ceases to amaze me and the queen bee is epicly amazing and magical!