If a queen bee is failing or suddenly dies, worker bees will raise new queen cells. Female larvae aged 1-3 days are fed royal jelly by nurse bees and are reared into a queen bee. The virgin queen emerges from the queen cell after 16 days of development. She then undertakes her mating flight, returns to the hive and starts laying eggs soon after. During peak season a healthy queen bee can lay over 3,000 eggs per day!