Leechman, I think that BeeHopper did a pretty good job of answering the question.
The Italian honeybee and other races of the honeybee common to the beekeeper that are cultivated, pretty much have the same life span. The honeybee that is born in late summer/early fall will live longer than the spring/summer bees. They are the bees that live for several months when the bees are clustered and don't leave the hive, this is approximate.
What wears out the bees and eventually causes death is the fraying and wearing out of the wings. The average honeybee will fly about 800 km during their lifetime, whether this is a two week period or longer, that is average. This is just a little trivia from a book called the Biology of the Honeybee by Mark Winston.
The bees remain in the hive for about three weeks before they venture out to take on the forager duties. Prior to that they remain within the colony firstly cleaning cells, moving on to feeding brood, guarding, and then their final task in their life, to leave the colony to get food. Interesting stuff.
The queen can live for several years, many have documented their queens even living for 5 years. Most commercial beekeepers requeen their colonies every year to attempt to ensure that they have very viable egg laying machines.
Others will chime in, but you have struck a very interesting thread here, good for you to ask these questions. We all learn just a little more every day of our lives. Have that most wonderful and awesome day, life, health. Cindi