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The queen bee marked with a white dot is laying eggs in queen cups. A virgin queen will develop from a fertilized egg. The young queen larva develops differently because it is more heavily fed royal jelly, a protein-rich secretion from glands on the heads of young workers. If not for being heavily fed royal jelly, the queen larva would have developed into a regular worker bee. All honey bee larvae are fed some royal jelly for the first few days after hatching but only queen larvae are fed on it exclusively. As a result of the difference in diet, the queen will develop into a sexually mature female, unlike the worker bees
© FLPA/David Hosking