There are a number of different types of bee in a stingless beehive, each with a different role.
Worker bees make up the vast majority of the population. They are infertile female bees and do most of the jobs around the hive. These bees will have a number of roles over their lifetime, which generally correlate with their age (the oldest bees doing the riskiest tasks). Here are some (in order of general occurrence):
These are male bees. They are quite difficult to distinguish from worker bees to the untrained eye. They often sit with their antennae perked up in an unusual way. They don't do any of the household roles such as nursing, guarding, rubbish removal, or foraging, and they don't participate in fighting swarms. Their sole job is to try and find a mate, and spread their genetics. They can travel up to 25km from their home in their attempt to do this.
The queen bee is in charge of laying all of the eggs in the hive. She mates once, at the start of her life, and will go on laying hundreds of eggs every day until the day she dies. She is visibly larger than all of the other bees, and often seems to have light stripes.
A princess is a queen bee that has not yet mated. Stingless bees often keep a small number of these in the hive as a 'reserve', in case anything happens to the reigning queen.
Callow - could be any of the above
A callow is a recently born bee, it will be a light beige colour (which will darken over the next 24 hours).
Hi! I'm Isaac, a 17 year old passionate about all of Australia's native bees, particularly our stingless bees (Bush Bees). My interest in them began when my school bought a native beehive, in early 2016.
Information on this site is general advice provided for educational purposes only.