Within a honey bee hive or colony, there are three types of individuals : The queens job is to lay eggs and produce the next generation of bees. She also produces chemicals which influence the behaviour of other bees. The workers are all female and their job it to collect pollen and nectar from flowers, build and protect the hive and clean and circulate air by beating their wings. Workers are the only bees most people ever see flying around outside the hive. The drones are the male bees, and their purpose is to mate with the new queen.
The queen bee can live up to five years. She is busiest in the summer months, when she can lay up to 2,500 eggs a day.
The average worker bee lives only for around five to six weeks, during which time it will produce around a twelfth of a teaspoon of honey. Bees may fly as far as 5 miles for food, however an average distance would be less than a mile from the beehive. A strong colony of bees therefore flies the equivalent distance from Earth to the Moon everyday.