Queen bee is a somewhat commonly arising pattern that in 15 generations develops into a beehive and a reflected copy of itself. Left alone, after repeating this process another time, it crashes into the first beehive and explodes (splitting into two centuries, which ultimately stabilize into six blocks and two blinkers at generation 191). It is simple to stabilize into an oscillator by deleting the beehives as they are formed, as in the well-known queen bee shuttle. The term queen bee refers not just to the phase shown to the right, but also to any of the other phases of the pattern (excluding the beehives it creates) that occur before it explodes.
One of the simplest reactions involves a queen bee involves colliding it with two gliders that come in from opposite directions in order to turn (reflect) it; this reaction was found by David Bell and was turned into a period 88 oscillator (shown below) on March 21, 1996. The reaction itself turns the queen bee counterclockwise by 90 degrees in 22 generations.
Two-glider turning reactionRLE: here
Period 88 queen bee turning oscillatorRLE: here
Generation 21 of queen bee
- Queen bee (discussion thread) at the ConwayLife.com forums