Honey Bee Cell Stages Process

With the invention of more advanced cameras and more focus on honey bee research, we now have more and more information about the ongoings inside the honey beehive.

Germany’s honey bee research institute released research videos from inside the hive last year. We will walk through each video briefly together, from laying to hatching.

Queen Laying

We can see the speed at which the queen will lay a fertilized egg. She continues nearly 24 hours a day – with regular short breaks throughout the day. With almost 1500 eggs being laid every day in the depth of the season, a team of Honey Bees will take care of her every need as she carries out the vital duties of a queen.

Cell Occupation

When the egg is laid, it stays nearly motionless – honey bees will occupy the cell to keep the temperature regulated – eggs stand upright throughout this stage – but tipping over of the egg can sometimes happen as honey bees enter the cell.


Honey bee nurses will inspect the cell many times a day to check to see how the egg is developing.


During the larval hatch, the egg membranes are completely dissolved. The first feeding happens minutes after the hatching.

Feeding Young Larva

Most of the feeding is done by placing food at any part of the surrounding cell walls when larva is three days or older.

Mouth To Mouth Feeding

On some occasions, mouth-to-mouth feeding is done.


After the larva receives its last feeding, the cocooning starts, this happens approx on day 8 for queens, day 9 for workers, and day 10 for drones.

This is the transition from larva to pupa stage – and the honey bee will stay in this stage until hatching.

Once the honey bee hatches from its cell as an Adult, it feeds and goes to work as a hive member. Usually, the Adult honey bee that hatches cleans out the cell it emerged from, and the queen returns, continuing the process with a new egg.

Article Reference:


  1. Bee Research Institute Oberursel and Institut für Bienenkunde, Polytechnische Gesellschaft Frankfurt am Main, Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0247323

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