Does a queen bee ever sting? © Getty Images

Does a queen bee ever sting?

Queen bees are special in more ways than one and their stings serve a very different purpose to that of the workers'.

Asked by: Anonymous


Yes. Queen bees have a sting that isn’t barbed and they can sting repeatedly without dying. When a virgin queen emerges from her brood cell, she’ll immediately seek out other virgin queens and try to kill them by stinging them. When only one is left, she’ll mate and begin laying eggs. Mated queens don’t leave the laying chamber and don’t sting again. 


Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.