I am expected with excitement and joy. After 16 days spent in my cocoon, I voluptuously leave my royal cell. A suite is available to me immediately. As soon as I leave, they lick me, they cuddle me, they communicate with me by vibratory signals; the foster paws grab my body, quickly giving me a fast ventral-dorsal vibration… a sign of welcome and acceptance within my family!
For the first six days of my life, I lounge around and let myself be served. The workers of my royal suite are constantly renewed so that I can have access to the best royal jelly. They protect me, they wash me, they feed me mouth to mouth, nothing less!
But the moment everyone is waiting for is fast approaching. The procreation ritual begins resolutely. The bees make me vibrate insistently and push me out of my cozy nest. This is the first step, I must learn to fly. Instinctively, I train to be remarkably fast. After 3 days, I’m finally ready for the big day. I then have 9 days.
Ohhhh… Ahhhh! No, no, do not imagine that I have an orgasm… but that it is good, this call where I receive 200 to 300 vibratory signals to go to the congregation. The whole universe conspires to make this event a success; the light breeze, the perfect light, the ideal humidity, an absence of predators and of course, an abundance of males available to me. So many fortuitous risks in this crucial moment of my existence. A successful honeymoon is the biggest challenge of my life.
This is it, this is the great moment. They call me, they attract me… I leave the hive and I am this irresistible force of attraction where more than 10,000 drones could be present. How many males will be strong, fast and powerful enough to be elected? How much will be enough to fill my spermathèque? It’s up to you to tell me… I have already lost my notions of arithmetic at the moment.
High in the sky, I enter this cloud and let the charm do its work. My virgin queen scent signals attract the males, each struggling with each other to penetrate me. In this fiery affair which can last up to 30 minutes, all the elected officials die after having filled me with the hope that their sacrifice will serve the good of the Apis Mellifera community.
And since all good things come to an end, I return home satisfied, letting all these corpses on the ground take care of themselves. My honeymoon is over, my mission is accomplished! I return to reign as a fertile queen, worthy and proud. During the season, each day that passes will be an opportunity for 1000 to 2000 eggs to come to life and flourish within the hive as worker or drone.
And as long as my mandibular gland produces enough royal pheromones, my family will be united and cohesive. My scent will encourage nurses to heal me, wax production and foraging activities will be regulated harmoniously, and my pheromones will prevent ovarian development of worker bees to build queen cells to replace me.
And as long as it lasts, I will be the unique and irreplaceable, the mighty and the eminent queen of the colony!