Two years ago we started bee keeping. We started with 4 packages of bees and succesfully over
wintered 3 hives our first year.
The second year we ordered 8 packages and have continued to grow since.
The queen rules the hive. She lays the eggs to repopulate the hive. Without the queen, there is no hive. She will lay for 1-3 years until the hive decides she is unfit or until she swarms and leaves with half the hive to start a new one.
The drone has only one purpose and that is to mate with a new queen. If they do not mate with a new queen by winter, the workers will kick them out of the hive and they will die from the elements.
Workers do many jobs. New workers start out in the nursery where they nurse and feed the young larva. After a few weeks they will move onto house keeping. After a few more weeks they will venture outside and do an orientation flight which consists of an ever widening circle to orientate them selves to the position of the hive. They will then start looking for pollen and nectar to bring back to the hive.