Oh, the Drones

Drones - Here they are with their big black eyes and big bodies

Drones – Here they are with their big black eyes and big bodies

A drone lives the good life until he’s kicked out of the hive or dies from sex. Drones (aka 2013-08-16-15.47.57 (1)the boys) do not have stingers and do not need to collect nectar, build cells or protect their home like their sisters do. No no, they need to save their strength for a potential mating flight! Little do they know about the fate that awaits them if they get a chance to impregnate the queen. While their sisters are bringing home pollen and honey, drones hit the “congregation” scene to mingle with the boyz as all anticipate the arrival of queens. Once a drone mates, his entire reproductive system is ripped out and he falls to his death. Those who are lucky enough to not get that kind of action, will continue to be cared for by their sisters until fall rolls around the corner. During the winter months when food is sparse, the worker bees cannot afford to keep the glutinous drones who do no work. They are great in the summer for reproduction but consume way too much food otherwise. At the end of the nectar producing season, drones are kicked to the curb. Sorry guys!

Technically, if a drone’s primary purpose in life is to mate, we’d really only need very few to survive. However, I often see many drones. So why does a queen decide to lay so many unfertilized eggs? It’s believed that they keep the girls happy and add warmth to the hive. As they do not have stingers, drones are also very gentle and may contribute to a more harmonious home.

Drone cells bulge out and are slightly bigger than a worker bee’s cell. Check it out:
capped

 

This entry was posted in Bee cells, Drones, Mating flight, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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