It would be strange and desperate times indeed for the queen herself to board a vessel. See "Hungry Children" scenario
The Earl of Emsworth wrote:A couple of questions (sorry if these are repeats)
Do the workers, warriors etc vary according to task? E.G, on a watery world colonized, would the offspring there adapt to it? And in an indivdual hive, will the umbrella 'worker' cover many different specialised types, such as for cleaning, building etc?
Workers, and even warriors to some extent, will be tailored to their tasks. Workers are the most diverse, I think, as they may be specialized toward anything from janitorial duties to raising children to farming to scientific research to... yeah.
Will each fleet (or even each large ship) have a Princess aboard? I assume so, to produce the immense numbers of expendable crewmen, and if so, are they kept in a central chamber and 'cared for' like bee queens?
CnC vessels are more likely to have a Prince commanding the fleet. Colonizers, especially Biomes, are more likely to have a Princess on board. More can always be moved to a growing colony via abstracted gate transport.
Do Hivers have an 'Empire' as we would understand it, or do individual swarms (Princesses) more or less do their own thing, expand on their own initiative, unless the Queen specifically recalls them to the homeworld?
The Queen guards control of the gate network most jealously. A Princess expanding on her own iniative would likely be treated as an usurper, especially if she did not take any of the Queen's gates. I also suspect that the Queen wants as much influence over the political aspect of who gets what territory, and how quickly, lest any daughter rise too far above her peers and try to take the crown before her time.