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Smart as can Bee: Discover how honey bee hives function and why our Mad Honey is unique.

Nothing is more delicious than the knowledge of what we consume (though, our Mad honey is clearly yummier!) Honey has been consumed for its medicinal properties for centuries, yet most of us know little about hives and the incredible social structures of hives. From the queen to the workers, we are here to enlighten you on the topic.

Mad honey is produced by the rare giant honey bee Apis Laboriosa; the Himalayan honey bee is known as the world's largest honey bee and measures up to three centimeters in length. Although the Apis Laboriosa was identified as one of the subspecies of the Apis Dorsata, in 2020 the giant bee was affirmed as a full species of its own. Since no interbreeding was detected, the Apis Laboriosa was declared unique. Yet, the organization of Apis Laboriosa honey bees is similar to the other types.

So, if you’re curious about how honeybees function and how hives are organized, read on.

This blog article is based on previous works by the Mid-ATLANTIC and other sources cited throughout the article.


What does not benefit the hive

is no benefit to the bee.

Marcus Aurelius


The Consolidated Efforts of a Micro-society

Honey bees are frequently studied due to the fact they are perceived as regarded as highly social in the animal realm. They live in structured and large family groups, comparable to humans who live in communities. These evolved insects indulge in a nexus that is not seen among most solitary insects.


Honey bees have a complex nest construction particularly among Apis Laboriosa who build their nests at an altitude of more than 3000 meters vertically. Honey bees have not only mastered communication and defense but have also developed a chain of labor that is rarely seen among solitary insects. Honey bees obtain all of their nutritional requirements from a diverse combination of pollen and nectar.

Their colonies are made up of 3 types of adult bees:

  • Workers

  • Drones

  • Queen

Although the queen is referred to as the superior bee, her role is rather limited to reproduction as she is the single sexually developed female qualified for laying eggs.