The Importance of Drones

While ‘natural beekeepers’ are utilized to considering a honeybee colony more in terms of its intrinsic value for the natural world than its capacity to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers along with the public as a whole are much prone to associate honeybees with honey. It’s been the main cause of the attention provided to Apis mellifera because we began our association with them only a few thousand years back.

Put simply, I think most of the people – should they consider it whatsoever – tend to make a honeybee colony as ‘a living system who makes honey’.

Before that first meeting between humans and honeybees, these adaptable insects had flowering plants as well as the natural world largely privately – more or less the odd dinosaur – well as over a lifetime of ten million years had evolved alongside flowering plants and had selected people who provided the highest quality and amount of pollen and nectar because of their use. We can easily believe that less productive flowers became extinct, save if you adapted to using the wind, as opposed to insects, to spread their genes.

Like those years – perhaps 130 million by a few counts – the honeybee continuously evolved into the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that people see and talk with today. Using a variety of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a high level of genetic diversity inside the Apis genus, among the propensity from the queen to mate at a ways from her hive, at flying speed and at some height in the ground, with a dozen approximately male bees, which may have themselves travelled considerable distances from their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from outside the country assures a degree of heterosis – fundamental to the vigour associated with a species – and carries its own mechanism of choice for the drones involved: exactly the stronger, fitter drones find yourself getting to mate.

A rare feature of the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening edge against their competitors to the reproductive mechanism, is that the male bee – the drone – exists from an unfertilized egg by the process referred to as parthenogenesis. Which means the drones are haploid, i.e. have only a bouquet of chromosomes produced by their mother. As a result means that, in evolutionary terms, the queen’s biological imperative of passing it on her genes to future generations is expressed in their own genetic investment in her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and they are thus a hereditary dead end.

Hence the suggestion I designed to the conference was a biologically and logically legitimate method of in connection with honeybee colony will be as ‘a living system for creating fertile, healthy drones when considering perpetuating the species by spreading the genes of the most useful quality queens’.

Thinking through this style of the honeybee colony gives us a completely different perspective, in comparison with the traditional perspective. We are able to now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels because of this system along with the worker bees as servicing the requirements the queen and performing each of the tasks forced to make sure the smooth running from the colony, for the ultimate reason for producing high quality drones, that can carry the genes of these mother to virgin queens from other colonies far. We could speculate as to the biological triggers that cause drones to be raised at peak times and evicted and even wiped out at other times. We can consider the mechanisms that will control the numbers of drones like a amount of the overall population and dictate how many other functions they may have inside the hive. We could imagine how drones appear to be capable of finding their method to ‘congregation areas’, where they seem to assemble when waiting for virgin queens to give by, once they themselves rarely survive greater than three months and hardly ever over the winter. There exists much that individuals still are not aware of and may even never fully understand.

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