I’ve had quite a few people ask me about the queen bee; how long does she live, what happens if she dies, etc. I had a few answers, but never had a very complete answer (at least not in my head). I came across this article today that explains it in detail, and it makes a lot of sense. A pretty quick read; check it out if you’re curious.
Honey bees create a queen bee for a few different reasons, such as the death of the previous queen bee, if the hive gets overpopulated resulting in not enough space to lay eggs and the like. The making of a new queen bee after the death of the old one is particularly critical to be done quickly as the existing eggs must be less than three days old in order for them to do what’s necessary to make it into a queen bee.
In any event, to answer your question, Honey bees create a new queen bee as follows: