A young bee is called a larva or pupa. A larva is the small white worm that precedes the pupal phase of a bee's life cycle. The pupa is the life cycle phase in which a larva physically changes into an adult bee.
The new bee's role in the hive is dictated by its diet during the larval phase and the length of time that the young bee spends pupating. Young worker bee larvae are fed a nutrient-rich substance called royal jelly for the first two days after they are born. Royal jelly is secreted from the heads of adult worker bees. After two days, worker bee larvae are fed a strict diet of honey, pollen and water. Young queen larvae are fed royal jelly throughout their larval phase. The young worker bees' larval and pupal phases last for 21 days for males and 18 days for females. The young queens' larval and pupal phases last for 13 days.