The Importance of Drones

While ‘natural beekeepers’ are employed to pondering a honeybee colony more regarding its intrinsic value to the natural world than its ability to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers along with the public in particular less complicated prone to associate honeybees with honey. This has been the reason behind a person’s eye given to Apis mellifera since we began our association with them only a few thousand years ago.

In other words, I believe most people – if they think it is whatsoever – often think of a honeybee colony as ‘a living system who makes honey’.

Before that first meeting between humans and honeybees, these adaptable insects had flowering plants along with the natural world largely on their own – give or take the odd dinosaur – and over a span of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants and had selected those which provided the best and quantity of pollen and nectar for use. We can think that less productive flowers became extinct, save for people who adapted to using the wind, instead of insects, to spread their genes.

Its those years – perhaps 130 million by a few counts – the honeybee continuously evolved into the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that individuals see and talk to today. By means of a amount of behavioural adaptations, she ensured an increased degree of genetic diversity inside Apis genus, among the actual propensity with the queen to mate at a long way from her hive, at flying speed possibly at some height through the ground, which has a dozen or so male bees, who have themselves travelled considerable distances from other own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from foreign lands assures a college degree of heterosis – important to the vigour from a species – and carries its mechanism of choice for the drones involved: merely the stronger, fitter drones are you getting to mate.

A rare feature from the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening edge against your competitors for the reproductive mechanism, could be that the male bee – the drone – comes into the world from an unfertilized egg with a process called parthenogenesis. This means that the drones are haploid, i.e. just have one set of chromosomes produced by their mother. This in turn means that, in evolutionary terms, the queen’s biological imperative of creating her genes to generations to come is expressed in their genetic purchase of her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and therefore are thus a hereditary dead end.

Hence the suggestion I made to the conference was that the biologically and logically legitimate strategy for concerning the honeybee colony can be as ‘a living system for producing fertile, healthy drones for the purpose of perpetuating the species by spreading the genes of the most useful quality queens’.

Considering this style of the honeybee colony provides a totally different perspective, when compared to the typical 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 demands of the queen and performing every one of the tasks required to ensure that the smooth running from the colony, for that ultimate purpose of producing good quality drones, that may carry the genes of their mother to virgin queens using their company colonies a long way away. We could speculate regarding biological triggers that cause drones to get raised at specific times and evicted and even got rid of other times. We can easily look at the mechanisms that will control the numbers of drones being a percentage of the complete population and dictate the other functions they may have inside hive. We are able to imagine how drones appear to be able to uncover their strategy to ‘congregation areas’, where they seem to accumulate when awaiting virgin queens to pass through by, whenever they themselves rarely survive more than a couple of months and almost never through the winter. There exists much that we still do not know and might never fully understand.

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