2

What I want to express is the following information:

A honey bee colony consists of a single queen, hundreds of male drones and 20,000 to 80,000 female worker bees.

So is the expression OK?

“The numbers of each castes of bees in a honey bee colony are one for queen, hundreds for male drones and 20,000 to 80,000 for female worker bees.”

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  • 1
    When you use the word "each", then the following noun is always singular, since you are describing something particular to each one. "There are three children playing and each child has a different favorite toy." Jun 27 '18 at 14:05
  • Probably you want to split the prepositional phrases and use size instead of number: the size of each caste of bees in a honey bee colony varies; there is one queen, hundreds of male drones, and 20,000-80,000 female worker bees. Jun 27 '18 at 20:32
3

The expression is not quite correct for the following reasons:

  1. If you asked for "the number of each caste of bees", the correct answer is three. What I think you meant to say was "The number of bees in each caste..."

  2. "Each" is always a singular pronoun, so "castes", the noun linked to that pronoun, must also be singular. So you should say "each caste of bees" not "each castes of bees".

  3. If you are talking about "the number of bees in a caste..." the reader may be expecting a single number, not a number range such as "20,000 to 80,000". You may be better saying "tens of thousands".

So, a better sentence may be:

In a honey bee colony, the number of bees in each caste is one queen, hundreds of male drones and tens of thousands of female worker bees.

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  • Is there a second reason?
    – user150248
    Jun 27 '18 at 13:25
  • @user150248 My apologies. I inadvertently pressed the Add Answer button before I had completed my answer.
    – James
    Jun 27 '18 at 14:42
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    I think hundreds of male drones, rather than for. I've edited to this, but if you disagree feel free to rollback
    – James K
    Jun 27 '18 at 17:46
  • @James K Thank you for correcting my error. I had intended to change 'for' to 'of' after I had copied and pasted the original, then forgot to do so. I need to improve my proofreading.
    – James
    Jun 28 '18 at 7:19
  • @JamesK why is “of” better than “for”?
    – user150248
    Feb 5 '19 at 11:41

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