Scientific Beekeeping
Female Reproductive System
Male Reproductive System
The Larva
The larva is an eating machine. Most of the body is taken up in the ventriculus which is a blind sack, not yet connected with the proctodaeum, which becomes the rectum. Thus the larva cannot defacate but can excrete through the two malpighian tubules that have a clear pathway out to the cell.

The heart exists just under the skin on the dorsum of the larva. On the ventral aspect is the ganglia which connect to the brain. Above the ganglia is the silk gland which is used later to spin a cocoon around the pupa several times as it develops.

Posteriorly, at the part of the body that will become the abdomen, the ovaries are already prominent in the female larva. Also, already formed, is the respiratory system of spiracles and trachea.

It is in the first three days of the larval stage that the quality of feed decides which caste the female honey bee will become.
Fani Hatjina
The larva with limb buds apparent prior to capping.
Larvae of both castes and sexes moult on days four, five, six and seven. The larva is expanding rapidly and the exoskeleton inelastic.

Before capping the larva stretches out in the cell with the head near to the opening. At about this time the proctodaeum and ventriculus connect. The contents of the four malpighian tubules and the ventriculus can now be evacuated via the hindgut into the cell as larval faeces. After this the cocoon is spun with silk originating from the silk glands via the spinneret.

After spinning, but without ecdysis, the larvae enter the prepupal stage (PP), during which they appear straightened and motionless in their cells, while the larval
cuticle progressively loosens from the pupal one underneath, beginning in the head region. This stage ends with the pupal ecdysis.

In the next 24 hours many external features form as the larva changes into a prepupa also known as propupa or defecated larva.