Yes, the queen bee of a honeybee colony will only mate once. The queen bee leaves the hive once to mate with as many as 15 male drones, and only has a small window of time in her life to do this. After fertilization, the queen bee can lay as many as 2,000 eggs a day, and serves as the reproducer for the entire colony.
I found information contrary to edmccoy11’s suggestion.
According to ScienceDaily.com, “early in a queen’s life, she makes several mating flights. On these flights, she mates — in midair — with anywhere from one to more than 40 drones. The average number of drones with which a queen mates is 12. The queen stores the semen from her mating flights for the remainder of her life, two to three years for a long-lived queen.”
Please look to the links below for more information.
Artificial insemination to the Queen Bee is also steadily becoming a rising practice amongst bee breeders. While the intention is to breed bees with the genes we deem best, this practice is creating a bigger problem for the diminishing bee population.
For a deeper analysis of Colony Disorder and the process of Queen Bee artificial insemination take a look at the trailer for The Vanishing of the Bees.
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