The Queen is the largest bee in the hive, and is about twice the size of a Worker bee. When creating her colony, she lays an egg about every 20 seconds.
A queen is determined when she is a larvae. The egg is actually very similar to the egg of a worker bee. The main difference is that the potential Queens are fed a special mixture called "royal jelly."
If the colony becomes so large that worker bees cannot smell the pheromones of their Queen, they will choose a new queen. The old queen will generally leave the nest and find a new colony and donate the old colony to the new queen.
Drone bees are the only males in the colonies. (Worker bees are female.) The only purpose of drone bees is to mate with the queen. During the winter, because it is not mating season anymore, all they really do is eat, so they are typically kicked out of the colony. Also, drone bees die after mating with the Queen.
Worker bees typically live for about one and half months, but may live longer during the inactive winter seasons. Their duties change as they grow older.