For the #Age-of-Avians
Bee Birds are the descendants of Bee-Eaters. Like their ancestors, Bee Birds live in colonies, however their colonies are more complex and consists of a hierarchy and caste members, much like in colonial insects. Bee Bird colonies are led by females which are larger than the males and are ranked the highest on the social order (even female hatchlings rank higher than the males), which is why they are called Queens. Unlike queens in colonial insects, queen Bee Birds do
have control over the colony. Each colony has at least 5 females and only one is allowed to mate and become an official queen.
The rest of the colony consists of males. Their role in the colony changes with age. Young males which are small and bright green are workers and serve the colony by providing food. Workers are typically timid and skittish.
As a male grow older, he grow larger, his feathers become less bright, the yellowish coloration on the top of his heads become red, his behavior changes from timid and skittish to aggressive and territorial, and his beak begins to grow several spike-like growths on the beak which are used for combat, therefore his role changes from worker to soldier. The soldiers serve the colony by defending it. Only the oldest male in the colony will be allowed to mate and be called a Drone.
When the females reach sexual maturity, they will seek out the oldest male in the colony and will even battle over him. The winning female gets the chance to mate with the oldest male and become an official queen, while the losing females will be forced to leave the colony and either start a colony of their own or conquer another colony by assassinating the queen and taking her place. Females who start their own colony will emit a call that can be heard miles away. Any males that are within the range of this call will fly to the source of the call. When they find the female that emitted this call, they will promptly accept her as their queen.
It is common for other males to challenge the Drone for the Queen. If the Drone wins the battle, he will retain his position as the Drone and the Queen's mate while the opposing male (if he survives the battle) will be banished from the colony, however if the opposing male wins, he will take the other male's position as the Drone and become the Queen's new mate while the former Drone (if he survives the battle) will be banished from the colony.