A queen bee can lay up to 2,000 eggs a day, which is approximately double her body weight. In her lifetime, the queen bee can lay as many as 1,000,000 eggs.
The queen bee lays eggs until she is too old or diseased to continue at an acceptable rate. When this occurs, worker bees swarm and kill her so that a new, younger queen can take her place. Queen bees are identified by their enlarged abdomen, although even experienced beekeepers can have difficulty locating the queen in a colony of many thousands. It is common for beekeepers to mark the queen bee with a dab of paint to more easily find her.