The Value of Drones

While ‘natural beekeepers’ are employed to pondering a honeybee colony more with regards to its intrinsic value for the natural world than its chance to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers and the public as a whole are much very likely to associate honeybees with honey. It is been the explanation for a person’s eye given to Apis mellifera since we began our association with them just a few thousand in years past.

Put simply, I think most people – when they think it is in any way – usually think of a honeybee colony as ‘a living system that produces 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 – give or take the odd dinosaur – as well as over a duration of tens of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants coupled with selected those which provided the best and quantity of pollen and nectar for their use. We can easily assume that less productive flowers became extinct, save if you adapted to presenting the wind, as opposed to insects, to spread their genes.

Its those years – perhaps 130 million by some counts – the honeybee continuously developed into the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that individuals see and talk with today. Using a quantity of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a top level of genetic diversity inside Apis genus, among which is propensity in the queen to mate at far from her hive, at flying speed and also at some height in the ground, having a dozen approximately male bees, which may have themselves travelled considerable distances from their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from another country assures a diploma of heterosis – important to the vigour from a species – and carries its very own mechanism of option for the drones involved: only the stronger, fitter drones find yourself getting to mate.

A unique feature from the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening competitive edge towards the reproductive mechanism, would be that the male bee – the drone – exists from an unfertilized egg with a process known as parthenogenesis. This means that the drones are haploid, i.e. only have a bouquet of chromosomes produced by their mother. As a result means that, in evolutionary terms, top biological imperative of doing it her genes to generations to come is expressed in her genetic investment in her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and so are thus a hereditary stalemate.

Hence the suggestion I created to the conference was that a biologically and logically legitimate method of about the honeybee colony is really 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 provides us a completely different perspective, when compared with the conventional perspective. We can easily now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels with this system along with the worker bees as servicing the needs of the queen and performing every one of the tasks needed to make sure the smooth running from the colony, for your ultimate function of producing good quality drones, that may carry the genes of these mother to virgin queens business colonies far. We can easily speculate as to the biological triggers that cause drones to be raised at peak times and evicted as well as gotten rid of sometimes. We could look at the mechanisms which could control the amount of drones as being a percentage of the overall population and dictate what other functions they may have inside hive. We can imagine how drones seem capable of finding their method to ‘congregation areas’, where they seem to accumulate when waiting for virgin queens to feed by, once they themselves rarely survive greater than a couple of months and almost never through the winter. There is much that individuals still have no idea and could never grasp.

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