Queen honey bees live from 3 to 5 years. The life span of a worker bee depends on the season, but it ranges from 6 weeks to 9 months. Drones do not have any use after mating season; any drones left in the hive by autumn are expelled.
Each beehive has only one queen but can have up to 80,000 workers. The queen's sole task is to lay eggs. Workers perform all the other functions of the hive, including gathering food; constructing the honeycomb; tending the queen, eggs and larvae; guarding the hive; and removing dead bees and debris. Drones have no function other than fertilizing new queens.