The Need for Drones

While ‘natural beekeepers’ are used to thinking of a honeybee colony more in terms of its intrinsic value to the natural world than its ability to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers along with the public in particular tend to be more prone to associate honeybees with honey. It has been the main cause of a person’s eye given to Apis mellifera since we began our association with them just a couple of thousand years back.

Put simply, I believe a lot of people – whenever they think it is whatsoever – usually make a honeybee colony as ‘a living system that creates honey’.

Prior to that first meeting between humans and honeybees, these adaptable insects had flowering plants as well as the natural world largely to themselves – more or less the odd dinosaur – as well as over a span of tens of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants and had selected those that provided the best quality and amount of pollen and nectar for use. We can assume that less productive flowers became extinct, save for those that adapted to getting the wind, rather than insects, to spread their genes.

Like those years – perhaps 130 million by some counts – the honeybee continuously turned out to be the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that we see and talk to today. Through a amount of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a higher level of genetic diversity inside the Apis genus, among which is the propensity of the queen to mate at a ways from her hive, at flying speed at some height from your ground, having a dozen approximately male bees, which have themselves travelled considerable distances using their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from foreign lands assures a degree of heterosis – important to the vigour of the species – and carries its mechanism of selection for the drones involved: just the stronger, fitter drones ever get to mate.

A rare feature from the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening edge against their competitors to the reproductive mechanism, would be that the male bee – the drone – exists from an unfertilized egg by the process called parthenogenesis. Because of this the drones are haploid, i.e. simply have some chromosomes derived from their mother. This in turn ensures that, in evolutionary terms, the queen’s biological imperative of passing on her genes to our children and grandchildren is expressed in her own genetic purchase of her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and so are thus a genetic dead end.

Therefore the suggestion I made to the conference was that the biologically and logically legitimate method of regarding the honeybee colony is as ‘a living system for creating fertile, healthy drones for the purpose of perpetuating the species by spreading the genes of the most useful quality queens’.

Considering this model of the honeybee colony gives us a completely different perspective, when compared to the traditional viewpoint. We could 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 every one of the tasks forced to ensure that the smooth running from the colony, for your ultimate reason for producing good quality drones, that can carry the genes of the mother to virgin queens business colonies far away. We can speculate regarding biological triggers that can cause drones being raised at certain times and evicted and even got rid of other times. We can easily consider the mechanisms which could control diet plan drones like a amount of the general population and dictate the other functions they’ve already inside the hive. We can imagine how drones seem able to get their approach to ‘congregation areas’, where they seem to gather when awaiting virgin queens to feed by, when they themselves rarely survive a lot more than a couple of months and almost never from the winter. There exists much we still do not know and could never fully understand.

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