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A race with an allegedly eusocial structure; roughly, one queen and lots of workers. Since this inevitably brings to mind ants and bees, it's often a One-Gender Race with some military/warrior overtones. Almost always occurs if the race is even vaguely insectoid, even though this isn't a common set-up for most insects. It's just very easy to associate a hive with a civilization structure, as bees and ants are often seen as extremely advanced insects who act a little like us.

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Which group is designated as "drones" depends on the writer's knowledge of what those actually are, but they rarely get a break. Occasionally there's a small subversion that shows that drones do perform vital functions besides breeding, that most people just don't notice.

The queen herself looks different from everyone else, although she'll act like a human queen and is implied to be the strongest, instead of just being an egg factory.

A "Hive Mind" or telepathic link among members of the race, whether by supernatural or more scientific means, such as radio antennae, is an almost universal feature. Naturally, it will actually be completely centralized within the Hive Queen.

Compare Hive Caste System and Fantastic Caste System. Related to Intelligent Gerbil.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Blood+: The vampires are a cross between regular vampires and Bee People to make them different.
  • Chrono Crusade: In the manga, the demons have a social structure much like this, to the point where Chrono even compares them to bees.
  • Elfen Lied: The Diclonii are not remotely bug-like in appearance, but...
    • They are a One-Gender Race (female) save for one male.
    • They have one "Queen"— Lucy— who can (theoretically) reproduce traditionally (biologically) in addition to spreading The Virus that causes the condition to be passed on to normal humans' future children
    • Many "drones" (selpelits) whose life spans are half a normal human's/diclonius's and are sterile though they can also spread The Virus, it just produces more selpelits
    • They share a weak telepathic link that allows them to sense when another Diclonius is nearby
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: The Bugrom are an odd variation, in that they mostly look like overgrown beetles but their queen is an attractive humanoid woman with a few token insectoid traits.
  • Macross Frontier: The Vajra fit this very well. However, while they do have a queen, it oversees the operation of their collective consciousness shared by each, as opposed to controlling them like mindless drones.
  • Spider Riders is one of the more obvious examples. The only difference being that the Insectors are run by a lord and not a queen.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • The Slivers started out with a queen and several specialist varieties — with the caveat that the specialists could grant their own abilities to every other sliver in range. After the queen died in the Overlay, where they ended up in the heart of a volcano, they became almost entirely extinct — but a couple centuries later, some science wizards decided to bring them back... and promptly lost control, as they could not create a queen. Even after a few more apocalypses, the slivers are still kicking, though they've lost most of their numbers and are developing a true central Hive Mind.
    • In Lorwyn/Shadowmoor, all faeries are born from and obey their absolute ruler, Oona, Queen of the Fae.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men: The Brood, aliens that are distinctly "inspired" by Alien. Oddly enough, the "queen" setup was given to the Brood before it was canon in the Alien movies.
  • Tom Strong: Despite being more like bats in appearance, the creatures Strong was captured by on the moon were clearly hive-like in terms of society.
  • The Justice League of America has the Queen Bee Zazzala, the leader of a world of bee-like beings.
  • Camelot 3000: The aliens have a ruling Queen Mother, although her authority had been usurped by Morgan la Fey.
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    Fan Works 

    Film 
  • Aliens is likely the inspiration for a great many other uses of this trope; all Aliens are born from the massive, powerful Queens, which lay the eggs Facehuggers are hatched from and are defended by hordes of regular Aiens. In a deleted scene, Bishop and Hudson speculate on the Queen's existence, even comparing them to bees — which is ridiculed by Vasquez.
  • District 9: The Prawns are speculated to be like this. Since individually they're rather stupid and obedient, most people think there must have been a leadership caste or a queen leading them, which died and left them leaderless. Christopher Johnson might be one surviving member of their leadership, given that he's neither stupid nor especially obedient.
  • Ender's Game: In the film, the Formics look like giant, complicated arthropods, and are organized much like eusocial insects: the Queens are sentient and intelligent, and telepathically command vast broods of animal-like workers which die without their leadership. The telepathic communication works with humans as well, and can apparently reach across interstellar space.
  • Starship Troopers: The Bugs are organized in various subspecies of drones and warriors, directed collectively by "brain bugs", themselves a subspecies with overly developed mental faculties.
  • The Wicker Man (2006): The community of Summerisle is modelled on a beehive, with a matriarchal social structure maintained by the importation of "drones" (male schmucks who are sacrificed after inseminating the local females). Males are rarely glimpsed on the island, and they never speak. It's best not to reason why.

    Literature 
  • In Angel Station, only the Living Ship is considered a member of the alien race of The Beloved; its subjects are more or less just drones (well, mostly).
  • Animorphs: The Helmacrons are an alien race whose society fits this trope, with a strong emphasis on social and racial pride, grovelling before the dead queen, submissive, slavish males, and an indifference toward the death of the individual. As for their anatomy, they resemble insects not only in their shape, but in their size — being about the size of fleas. Subverted when Marco and Cassie, attempting to teach their male keeper (who Marco dubs "Wuss" for obvious reasons) a thing or two about gender equality, inadvertently start a massive social uprising. The consequences of this are never explored outside the context that the characters consider it a bit of a joke, but it's more than likely that, now that both genders violently believe that they should be in charge, the whole species is going to go extinct.
  • The Bees is literally about bees! Granted they're bees with human tendencies, I challenge you to find a smiling bee otherwise, and their own form of language and religion.
  • Coalescent, by Stephen Baxter, features a colony of humans that excluded themselves from humanity after the fall of Rome, and evolved into eusocial lifeforms by the 21st century.
  • Consider Her Ways, a 1956 novella by John Wyndham, is about a scientist who tests a new mind drug. She wakes up, with almost no memory, in a bizarre Lady Land filled with gigantic Mothers in frilly pastel gowns (she's one herself, to her horror), small efficient Servitors, and strong hearty Workers. It seems that it's a bit more than 20 Minutes into the Future and an experimental virus designed to exterminate brown rats has gotten loose, mutated, and killed every man on Earth. The women developed techniques for parthenogenesis, and organized themselves like colonies of ants. In 1964 this was made into an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, starring Barbara Barrie (Liz on Barney Miller) as Jane Waterleigh, with veteran stage actress Gladys Cooper as the historian Laura, who fills Jane in on the facts.
  • Discworld: The Nac Mac Feegle have this arrangement; there isn't a hive-mind, however, so much as they mostly think alike — that is, very little — and concentrate most of the group's brainpower in their kelda (queen/mother) and gonnagle (bard).
  • Ender's Game: The Formics are descended from creatures very similar to Earth's ants, although they developed internal skeletons and lost a good deal of their exoskeletons over their evolutionary history. They eventually centralized around their queens to the point of developing a full Hive Mind, where each Formic hive is home to a single, cohesive mind centered around its queen — the regular Formics are merely extensions of this will, and loss all consciousness and agency if their queen dies. Also led to a heartbreaking example of Poor Communication Kills. In their early encounters, the Formics didn't realize that humans didn't have a Hive Mind, and that blowing up their "drones" was equivalent to killing a queen. The Formics had a My God, What Have I Done? moment and started leaving humans alone when they realized, but by then the humans were already planning their genocide.
  • Espada Da Galaxia has the alien Metalianos. They look rather insectoid, and have a distinctly hive-like society.
  • Frank Herbert:
    • In Hellstrom's Hive, although the Bee People are fully human, they emulate hive insects to an extremely disturbing extent.
    • In The Green Brain, the insects of the Amazon Rainforest have been taken over by a disembodied brain fed by legions of ants. Their goal is to destroy human habitation in the Amazon.
  • Humanx Commonwealth: Inverted with the thranx, as these intelligent insectoids used to have single breeder-queens, but re-evolved the capacity for all females to breed in the course of attaining sentience. Mothers are still highly revered in their culture, and offspring are reared in creches.
  • In The Left Hand of Darkness a person remarks that some culture of the genderless people of Gethen would have probably created a similar society — except there are no social insects on Gethen to take example from.
  • Man After Man: The Hivers from are human-descended herbivores which evolved into this, living in massive hives and depend upon a single breeding female for reproduction. However, they aren't ruled by their queens — they aren't really ruled by anyone, in fact, as none of their kind really have the imagination or intelligence to do so. Rather, Hiver society runs entirely on instinct and deeply ingrained traditions, each member doing their part because it doesn't really occur to them to do anything else.
  • The Night's Dawn Trilogy contains a race of aliens known as the Tyrathca, who are divided into "castes" based on their mother's breeding cycle. The "breeders" are the only fully intelligent caste, with other castes such as builders, hunters, nurses, etc, having no more intelligence than is needed to perform the tasks they are bred for.
  • The Parasol Protectorate features this dynamic among its Vampires. Their homes are referred to as Hives, led by a female (the Queen) who converts new members using a secondary set of fangs called the makers. Queens will never leave the house unless threatened into swarming, while males are free to roam within a certain distance, outside of which they start to go mad. "Drone" is the local term for The Renfield; humans who serve the hive until petitioning to become vampires themselves. Occasionally a male vampire will break this dynamic and become an independent rove, but this takes a tremendous act of will.
  • The Riftwar Cycle: The Cho-Ja are social insectoids that hire out their warrior caste as mercenaries.
  • The Risen Empire: The Rix are an apparently bee-like human society dominated by sentient computers, who open the book by invading the titular Empire. Subverted as the hero (and the reader) gradually learns more about them and realizes that he's been seeing them through the distorting lens of Imperial propaganda; by the end of the book it's clear that the Rix are actually the good guys.
  • Rogue Queen, set in L. Sprague de Camp's Viagens Interplanetarias universe, features the Ormazdians, a race of medieval-age humanoid monotreme aliens who have a fairly scientifically accurate hive society with egg-laying queens, sterile female workers, and male drones who only live to fertilize the queen. There is also a subspecies that has both worker and soldier females. The Ormazdians' sexual development is triggered by meat proteins, so the queens explicitly forbid workers from eating meat, claiming that it will poison them. Naturally humans arrive on Ormazd, help some workers they've befriended discover the truth, and destroy the entire Ormazdian societal structure. This is portrayed as ultimately for the best, as the hive society causes stagnation. (The Ormazdians should not be confused with the Krishnans, another race of medieval-age humanoid monotremes from the Viagens Interplanetarias universe, who do not live in a hive structure.)
  • Starship Troopers: The Arachnids are a modified version of this — the queens are mere egg-layers (although the animated series made her fairly smart), and the Brain Bugs, a caste specialized for intelligence and planning, are the true leaders.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • The Killiks, giant insects once native to Alderaan. They aren't lead by a queen though, but just form a collective consciousness. Any individual of another species that stay near a Killik nest for too long will end up joining that collective consciousness. It gets particularly dangerous when a fallen Force User becomes a Joiner, as they can corrupt the entire nest. Force users in general who become Joiners can become fantastically powerful, able to draw on the Force potential of their entire nest.
    • The Selonians are neither hive minded nor insectoid, instead looking like two-meter-tall otters, but they are eusocial. Their "Dens" consist of a Queen, a few males, and a few hundred sterile females who do just about everything other than breeding new sisters.
  • The Sword of Truth has mriswith, a race that came from a Gone Horribly Right attempt to give wizards invisibility. While individually similar to Lizard Folk (covered with scales and possessing Chameleon Camouflage), they procreate through a dragon sized, pheromone communicating Hive Queen.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle has boglins, who live in giant underground hives, are ruled by queens, have an ant-like caste system with various castes having differing appearance, are always single-minded within a hive (no My Species Doth Protest Too Much for them, but they're not a Hive Mind), and, as an added bonus, look insectoid.
  • Vergil, the ancient Mediterranean poet, loved this trope. He devoted an entire section of his Eclogues to bees, and often uses bee metaphors for well-functioning cities, e.g., for Dido and Carthage before Love Ruins the Realm or the Romans themselves. Vergil is particularly notable in that he puts a king at the top of bee society; in his time, people believed that a male ruled the hive. Bees crop up in other contemporary and earlier works, too.
  • The Wandering Inn: The Antinium are an example with particularly in-depth worldbuilding. They're an ant-like humanoid race with born castes of Workers and Soldiers, living in underground cities; the Workers and Soldiers have no concept of individuality or freedom, and usually when someone tries to explain either to them they go Ax-Crazy. On top of the Queens (of whom there are five or six on the continent, ruled by a Grand Queen), there is also the only other individual in the hive, the "Propugnator", a sort of advisor or envoy for the humongous, immobilized Queen.
  • Well World: Many hyper-communist human colony-worlds have begun evolving in this direction, and some have reached the point of having distinct biological castes. We're shown at least one world where the common "worker"-type human is largely asexual until selected for breeding by one of the very rare upper caste leaders. The leader has sex with the worker; the worker is generally left pregnant after this single encounter and the leader moves on. This gives the upper caste genetic dominance not far behind that of queens among eusocial insects. (Plus, they determine any genetically engineered changes in the next generation, giving them a type of dominance beyond that of insect queens.) Chalker portrays this setup as compellingly seductive, at least to the one character who is plonked into a top leader role on a planet with this type of society.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Chimerons from the episode "Delta and the Bannermen" are implied to have been like this (and they're overtly compared to bees throughout the episode). An unusual portrayal in that the entire species apart from the Queen has been wiped out.
    • In "The Web Planet", the Menoptera are bee people, with an explicitly beelike appearance - however, their social structure is fairly egalitarian with a slight matriarchal tendency (being inspired by certain bee species other than honeybees). This is also subverted by the ant-race the Zarbi, who are enslaved by the Animus - a creature first assumed by the Menoptera to be their queen but later revealed to be an alien invader.
  • Grimm: The Mellifer are literal bee people, so naturally they live in hives ruled by queens.
  • So Weird had an episode featuring literal Bee People. Made somewhat hilarious, as despite them having a queen, eating flowers, spitting out wax, and decorating their town with honeycomb patterns — nobody seemed to be able to figure out what was going on.
  • Stargate Atlantis: The main enemy race, the Wraith, are human-insectoid hybrids whose society is run by queens. They even have hiveships and the queens are usually considered a much bigger foe than the ordinary 'drone' wraith. Oh, they are also life-sucking-sufficiently-advanced-aliens, so that makes them Our Vampires Are Different, too.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • The Borg are basically like this, even going so far as to have a queen introduced in the film First Contact. They were originally envisioned as insectoids, but when they finally made it into the show appeared as cyborgs.
    • The Neural Parasites — originally intended as the Borg's first wave of attack, but later retconned into something different.
  • Series/V2009: The Visitors had a queen named Anna who could spawn thousands of eggs to raise an army of warrior Visitors, who were a specialized caste of fighters. The queen was the only one who could so reproduce, and the male who fertilized her died afterwards (in this case, by being devoured by the queen for nourishment).

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    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons features several such races, the most well-known of which are the Formians. However, the Formians actually are ant-people.
    • The official sourcebook, Races of the Dragon, suggests that Kobolds are a race of reptilian people with bee-like behavior. They put very little emphasis on their own lives and self-worth, instead worrying about their tribe/city/etc's health and welfare as a whole. Descriptions of their mining and military operations extend the comparison: Miners move and work in perfect sync, using bardic music to help create a rhythm; military operations (those that aren't won by their legions of traps) are basically "swarm them, and if you can't win by Swarming, Swarm more (while you get the women and children to safety)". Children are conceived normally, but mates only stay together as long as it takes to lay the eggs, and hatchlings are raised communally with no knowledge of who their biological parents are. Individuals can form interpersonal friendships, but romantic love is a foreign concept to them.
    • The Abeil from Monster Manual II are literal bee people — they have elflike heads, bodies, and arms but beelike legs, wings, and stingers. They're actually three symbiotic species: Vassals (workers), soldiers, and queens. Their reproductive habits aren't described in depth, but it's implied that there are both male and female vassals and soldiers and that both reproduce amongst themselves, but there are only female queens, and they reproduce by mating with male vassals. Vassals provide menial labor for the entire hive-city, but are individuals who have lives outside of their work, and some privileged individuals become part of the royal court (equivalent to drones). Each hive-city has a caste of queens, one of whom rules the hive and has inherent magic powers; when the old high queen dies or a new city is founded, one of the lesser queens consumes royal jelly and becomes a full-fledged queen.
    • The mantis-like Thri-Kreen don't have a hive-like society at all. This subversion of the trope isn't too surprising, since mantes are solitary insects.
    • The Ur-Example of this trope in D&D would be the aspis from 1E's Slave Lords module series. They are ant-like rather than bee-like, often co-habiting with giant ants, and their castes include large non-sentient "cows" as egg-layers and bipedal weapon-wielding "drones" as workers and defenders.
    • Finally, we have the Dromites of the Expanded Psionics handbook. Utterly asexual, dromite society is populated by the Grand Queen and the Elected Consort. Puzzingly, as the Elected Consort's name suggests, both of them are elected to their positions annually. How exactly this is possible is never discussed. Dromites also have a caste system, but this caste system is relatively fluid, with family groups (which adopt newborn dromites) usually containing multiple castes. Also, caste membership is defined by what energy (Fire, Electricity, Sonic, or Cold) the Dromite is able to control, although this does tend to breed certain traits that go with it (Fire are quick-tempered and emotional, Cold are slow to decide but often right, and so on). MST3K Mantra plays a decent part in their existence, me thinks. Although they do have some degree of popularity.
  • Heroscape has the Marro; small, semi-mindless beings that are all goverened by one central hive.
  • Pathfinder has a race of literal bee-people called the Thriae. They're an Always Female One-Gender Race who more or less go for a Cute Monster Girl look; they live in hives consisting of one (or, very rarely, two or three) fertile Queens and her myriad offspring, who take the form of spell-casting oracular Seers, warriors and workers. The thriae trade their knowledge, magic and a mystical substance they create called merope in exchange for securing attractive men to become consorts to the queen and father the 400-500 daughters she will have in her life.
  • Tech Infantry has the Arachnids, commonly referred to as The Bugs.
  • Traveller:
    • The Hivers are a quasi-aversion: they live in communal dwellings which look kind of like hives or anthills, but they have no caste system and go to great efforts to mate with outsiders from other nests.
    • The Droyne are closer as they do indeed have a bee-like biological caste arrangement. However, though very communal they don't quite have a Hive Mind.
  • Vampire: The Requiem: The Melissidae bloodline is an attempt at making the perfect society of bee people; a Melissidae will usually gather a group of vampires or ghouls around herself, liberally apply the blood bond, and use Animalism and Dominate to cut down whatever individuality remains. As the end result would be a gigantic breach of the Masquerade, they don't exactly hold open tryouts.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Tyranid hive fleets are thought to be directed by the Norn-Queens, ancient organisms that never leave the hive-ships and sort through the genetic information acquired by their hordes for useful traits to use when breeding the next batch of warrior forms.
    • One of the Tau's client races, the Vespids, are thought to operate in this manner, and it's been heavily implied that the Ethereals have, to some degree, usurped the role of "queen" from whatever individuals filled that role before.

    Toys 
  • BIONICLE: The Bohrok. Slightly subverted in that they have two queens, as well as the Bohrok-Kal, who are completely free-willed.

    Video Games 
  • Darkstalkers: The Soul Bee tribe is this trope to a T. Even the asskicking part due to her being in a fighting game.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: The Darkspawn. The process through which more are born is horrifying. They are united by a Hive Mind of sorts, but most are pretty much mindless monsters with the exception of particularly intelligent Emissaries like the Architect.
  • Gears of War: The Locust Horde is ruled by a Queen, with an army consisting of LOTS and LOTS of disposable drones. Like the Bugrom example from El-Hazard: The Magnificent World, the drones are fairly monsterous, but oddly enough the queen looks like a human woman with a few cosmetic insect bits. This is because the Locusts have an insidious but not fully fleshed out backstory.
  • Halo: The Yanme'e (Drones) . They are insectoid, and live in a eusocial society on their homeworld.
  • Mass Effect:
    • The franchise plays with this with the Rachni, who are a brutally violent, intelligent species of insect-like aliens. However, it turns out that the ones Shepard ends up fighting are the way they are because they have been separated from their queen and thus driven insane. The actual queen doesn't seem all that bad, and it's implied that the Bug War her species waged on the Citadel races roughly 2,000 years ago was solely due to the mind control of Sovereign. In fact, if you save the queen in the first game, there's an asari you meet in the second who mentions that the rachni helped repair her starship, and, if you save the queen again in the third game, she'll aid you in the war effort against the Reapers.
    • The Collectors are another race of Bee People, quite distinct from the Rachni. They show up in the second game, but they are mentioned in the first game as well. They release swarms of bugs to sting and immobilize their victims, who they "collect."The Protheans they were created from were far less insect-like, though.
    • The Salarians are a pretty straight example with males outnumbering females by a factor of 40. There seems to be no real difference in physical and mental capabilities between the sexes, but out of tradition politics, government, and administration are the exclusive domain of females, while pretty much everything else is done by males. Also, unfertilized eggs become male and fertilized become female; they deliberately keep the number of females low to prevent explosive population growth.
  • Metroid averts the tendency for insectoids to always be Bee People. The Space Pirates of the series have some degree of insectoid traits made more pronounced by their armor, the Chozo have insectoid and avian traits, and the Luminoth are distinctly mothlike, but none have ever been seriously portrayed as Bee People. Some strains of metroids grow reproductive queens but have no social structure beyond pack hunting. The spiderish Ing, however, combine Bee People with The Legions of Hell.
    • The Pirates do seem to be rather inept in their plans without the leadership of some other powerful being such as Mother Brain, Ridley, Dark Samus in Prime 3, etc.
    • Among the Space Pirates is a Bee People species called the Kihunters. They're very bee-like in design (though with mantis-like front legs), and are led by a King Kihunter (which, unintuitively, seems to be the one that lays eggs). There are hints of having a hive mind, but that's not outright stated. If they're not Bee People in behavior, they certainly are in design.
  • Millennia: Altered Destinies has the Entomons, a race of humanoid insects ruled by a queen. One of the crises involves an attempt by a male to rule instead. If you try that, it will be a disaster, ditto for trying to introduce democracy.
  • Oddworld: The Mudkons are an unusual variant. One queen (called Sam), and millions of slaves. The unfortunate thing is that the queen is being held by the Glukkons, heartless industrialists, and used to produce free, docile labour. Abe is one of these. Not only that, also Glukkons and Sligs present egg producing queens, though the Glukkon Queen Margaret is only heard of and the Slig Queen Skillya was to appear in Hand of Odd (currently in Development Hell). It seems people at Oddworld Inhabitants really liked the concept of Bee People...
  • The Sims 2: The aliens are implied to be this, due to indications in the Smith Family tree. Pollination Tech#9's parents are listed as Birth Queen and Colony Drone.
  • StarCraft: The Zerg. Oddly, the Queen neither lays eggs nor rules the Hive Clusters—the Hives themselves spawn larvae periodically; Overlords rules individual clusters, Cerebrates control broods, and the Overmind directs the Swarm as a whole. The Queens are defined in the manual as an odd sort of unit whose primary duties seem to be to guard larva and eggs.
    • The Queens do rule over their own private swarm of creatures that they make use of to perform their ingame abilities.
    • In the sequel, Queens have been re-purposed as hive-tenders and also have the ability to spawn larvae, but only at a hive.
  • Star Fox: Assault: The Aparoids pretty much fit this trope to a tee. They are a species with not just a collective mind, but a collective existence, all ruled over by a queen. The titular team of heroes take advantage of this to beat them by injecting a virus into the Aparoid Queen, which sends it out to every other Aparoid and destroys them.
  • Sword of the Stars: The Hivers play this straight, although supplemental material included with the game reveals that it's more multi-faceted and deeply considered than the typical Bee People.
    • Hiver society has several castes, including worker drones, soldiers, and rulers. The Queen is the ruler of all Hivers and is the only one who can give birth to Princesses. The Princesses rule their own clans and are mothers of all members of their clan. What deviates from the typical Bee People is the presence of the Princes, who are high-caste males who act as consorts to Princesses and generals to the warrior caste. Princes are highly valued and many wars have been fought between clans for them. It is also, apparently, possible for regular drones to be elevated to Prince status, if one is deserving. How they compare to highborn Princes is unknown.
      • Workers and Warriors elevated to Prince or (very rarely) Princess status are highborn. For Hivers, reincarnation is a fact of life and is used to preserve or promote particularly valued Sons.
    • There may be several Queens. If a Princess manages to isolate herself from the inhibiting pheromones of the reigning Queen, she can mature into a Queen herself. Furthermore, a princess can jump start the process by consuming the Crown Jewels of a dead Queen.
  • Turok: The second game has a species of insectile humanoids called "Mantids" (because the main caste look like humanoid mantises) with this trope. Hunting down the pupating Queens is part of your mission for the level, and the boss is the actual Queen herself.
  • Unreal: The Skaarj. Unusually for the trope, they're predominantly reptiloid; only the pupae and queens have any insectoid traits. Game fluff, especially in Unreal Tournament 2004, show that they definitely do have individuality, right down to names and personalities for individual Skaarj, and a particularly barbaric Proud Warrior Race Guy culture.
  • The X-Universe races don't know much about the Kha'ak, but they are believed to be this. They rely on gestural and chemical communication rather than a literal Hive Mind, though like all spacefaring races they also possess radio communications technology.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • There are several insectoid species, all descend from a single proto-race known as the Aqir — the Qiraji, the Qiraji's non-sapient Silithid descendants, the Nerubians and the Mantid. However, only the latter are shown to live in an eusocial society — they have a Hive Queen, the Mantid Empress, which rules them, but they're smart enough to appoint a Praetorian Guard to keep her in check in case she ever went mad with power or started going against their Proud Warrior Race Guy traditions, which has happened at least twice in their backstory that we know of.
      • In a twist of the trope, the third expansion has retooled the playable Horde-aligned faction of undead, the Forsaken, into this. To elaborate, though they lack the Hive Mind and One-Gender Race aspects, their queen Sylvanas is now effectively their Hive Queen, having control of not only of their government but also of their reproductive system. Since the demise of the Lich King, she has gained control of the Val'Kyr, which she uses in several in-game instances to resurrect more undead from fallen human soldiers and civilians in order to fuel the ongoing war against the Alliance and other factions. In the words of the Dark Lady herself:
      Sylvanas Windrunner: Warchief, without these new Forsaken my people would die out... our hold upon Gilneas and northern Lordaeron would crumble.
      Garrosh Hellscream: Have you given any thought to what this means, Sylvanas? What difference is there between you and the Lich King now?
      Sylvanas: Isn't it obvious, Warchief? I serve the Horde.

    Webcomics 
  • Homestuck: The trolls have a Fantastic Caste System based on blood color, their reproduction involves providing genetic material to a colossal Mother Grub that produces their grublike young, and there's an Empress in charge (although she relies on good ol' repressive methods and the threat of her pet Eldritch Abomination instead of a built-in Hive Mind). It probably helps that all fuchsia-blooded note  trolls have Super Strength and a natural lifespan of millennia.
  • MSF High: The Legion fit in this, as they are a caste system. In a subversion, their caste is more of a meritocracy. People are granted abilities to do what they are good at, and people can have multiple castes. (Princesses and Queens, in fact, have the abilities of all castes.)
  • In Twokinds, eastern basitins are similar because they have a very rigid class system,gender segregation, an unusual culture(they dial the nudity taboo up to 11), and a biological compulsion to obey orders, but they lack the hive mind aspect.

    Web Original 
  • The artist dimespin's work in progress Amber Rust features Bee People in the most literal sense of the word.
  • Mortasheen: The Geneti-line of creatures, heavily inspired by the Xenomorphs, have the basic Genetimorph as the worker/solder and Genetisaur as the reproductive queen.
  • Starship plays around with this. The better part of the population of the Bug World lives in one hive with an Overqueen, but within the hive there live a wide variety of species.

    Western Animation 
  • Futurama:
    • Planet Wormulon, where Slurm is made has a race of slugs with a queen that produces soda. While normally she only produces slurm, she can also produce highly delicious, and very concentrated "super slurm" and it is also implied that she can create royal jelly that can turn regular humans into worm queens, though their slurm will taste foul.
    • There's also a race of literal giant space bees, the leading cause of death in shipping crews in the 3000's, followed shortly by giant space whales.
  • Invader Zim: The Irken race aren't a schoolbook example, but do have the bug-like appearance and the mass-produced drones and the hive-like social hierarchy — the Irken empire consists of an innumerable volume of workers who serve a larger leader, the Tallest, who are essentially "king" bees. Interestingly, despite the insectoid look, what level of Hive Mind they have is achieved through bionics — specifically, their backpacks and the Control Brains.
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony 'n Friends: Queen Bumble and the bees of Bumbleland are humanoid bee people, though they retain multiple limbs.
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The insect-like shapeshifting changelings follow the orders of their Queen, Chrysalis, live in a colossal hive, and are born as squirming grubs from massive clutches of eggs. Even after Chrysalis is overthrown, they default to following the rule of a larger and physical distinct royal, in the case King Thorax.

    Real Life 
  • Weird Real Life example: the naked mole rat is one of the only mammals to exhibit eusocial behavior (the other one is the Damaraland mole rat). The queens keep the other female rats infertile with no desire to reproduce by having a community restroom chamber filled with her own urine, which contains suppressing hormones.
  • Some social mammal groups (African Wild Dogs, meerkats) also restrict all breeding privileges to the top female of the group, but only because the boss females chase off any daughter who dares to breed, and/or kill their daughters' litters. On the other hand, more common among social mammals — including many human societies throughout history — is the Gender Flip by which a group's patriarch uses force to maintain exclusive breeding rights with the females in his harem. Some humans even came up with a gender-flipped version of sterile worker bees, in the form of the eunuchs who patrolled royal harems in countries like Imperial China and Ottoman Turkey.
  • In addition to bees themselves, termites have been eusocial for even longer than bees, and have far more complex castes and collective behaviors than either bees or ants.
  • Some aphids have a life cycle with elements of this trope, in that a single female will found a colony by surrounding herself with daughters for defense. The twist is that they're all parthenogenetic clones of herself, so if she dies, her oldest daughters will just start popping more clones to keep the colony going.


"Bees. My God." Well we had to have a stinger.

Alternative Title(s): Eusocial Race

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