New beekeepers are told that the way to find the elusive queen is by first locating her circle of attendants. (Chapter 3)
Chapter 3 marks the beginning of Lily's journey to find the truth behind her mother's death. While she does not know at this point that she will be lead to August Boatwright's house, this quote suggests that she will find a new "queen" by first finding other "bees" who are working for her. This quote foreshadows the community Lily is about to belong to. At this point in the story, the reader has to wonder, will this new "queen" replace Lily's mother?
Honey bees are social insects and live in colonies. Each colony is a family unit, a single egg-laying female or queen and her many sterile daughters called workers. The workers cooperate in the food-gathering, nest-building and rearing the offspring. Males are reared only at the time of year when their presence is required. (Chapter 4)
Chapter 4 is the arrival of Lily and Rosaleen at August's house. The first thing they notice is a woman in the front tending to a beehive. The door is then answered by two women. Finally, Lily is introduced to August herself. This is a community that is built around an untraditional "family." As suggested by the quote, there is one queen and several female workers, who each have jobs. There are no men at August's house - but the foreshadowing quote suggests that this doesn't mean there are never men there, they simply are only around when they are absolutely necessary.