English edit

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Etymology edit

From queen +‎ bee. Compare Middle English kyng of been (queen bee, literally king of bees).

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Noun edit

queen bee (plural queen bees)

  1. A reproductive female (especially the only one) in a colony of bees.
    • 1947, AI Root, The ABC and XYZ of Bee Culture, Kessinger, published 2005, page 205:
      It is generally believed that the queen bee mates only once in her lifetime.
  2. (idiomatic, colloquial, derogatory) The most important or dominant woman in an organization or situation.
    • 2003, Jim Hatfield, Extra Marital Temptations, iUniverse, page 28:
      She muttered to her mother, “There's that obnoxious redhead who thought she was the Queen Bee last year when she was a senior!”
  3. (Should we delete(+) this sense?) (figurative) A stem cell.

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