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What Happens When Bees Don’t Accept the New Queen Bee

Did you know that bees have an complex social life? Despite the fact they’re deathly loyal to their queen, it doesn’t always start out that way. When a new queen is selected, it’s not unanimous decision and if they can’t agree, they get murderous.

image/text credit: Zaur Man

Introducing a new queen bee to a queenless hive isn’t always easy and YouTuber Zaur Man has created a video that shows what happens when a new queen is rejected.Zaur Man holds a contained queen bee that is being swarmed aggressively by the rest of the hive.

Man explains that this is not a good sign and not only means that the colony has rejected her, they’re trying to kill her. “If you see this and release the queen anyway, they are going to kill her within thirty seconds or one minute,” Zaur states.


Older worker bees will reject queens that they are not familiar with and tend to view them as a colony invader, even when they have no hope of raising a new queen on their own. This is especially true if the queen is unmated, or not well-mated, with numerous drones from unrelated colonies. This is why queen rejection by a colony will occur if the queen is released from her cage too soon.