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 as well as the public most importantly tend to be more likely to associate honeybees with honey. It has been the explanation for the interest given to Apis mellifera because we began our connection to them just a few thousand in years past.

To put it differently, I suspect most people – when they consider it in any respect – often imagine a honeybee colony as ‘a living system that creates honey’.

Ahead of 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 – well as over a span of tens of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants and had selected people who provided the very best quality and amount of pollen and nectar because of their use. We can believe that less productive flowers became extinct, save if you adapted to using the wind, rather than insects, to spread their genes.

Its those years – perhaps 130 million by a few counts – the honeybee continuously developed into the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that individuals see and talk to today. Using a quantity of behavioural adaptations, she ensured an increased amount of genetic diversity within the Apis genus, among which is the propensity of the queen to mate at some distance from her hive, at flying speed possibly at some height in the ground, using a dozen or so male bees, which may have themselves travelled considerable distances using their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from foreign lands assures a qualification of heterosis – vital to the vigour of any species – and carries its mechanism of selection for the drones involved: only the stronger, fitter drones are you getting to mate.

An unusual feature with the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening edge against their competitors for the reproductive mechanism, is the male bee – the drone – comes into the world from an unfertilized egg by the process called parthenogenesis. Which means that the drones are haploid, i.e. have only one set of chromosomes produced from their mother. This in turn ensures that, in evolutionary terms, top biological imperative of doing it her genes to our children and grandchildren is expressed in her genetic investment in her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and are thus an innate stalemate.

Therefore the suggestion I created to the conference was which a biologically and logically legitimate means of in connection with 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 greatest quality queens’.

Thinking through this model of the honeybee colony gives us a totally different perspective, in comparison to the traditional viewpoint. We could now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels because of this system as well as the worker bees as servicing the needs of the queen and performing each of the tasks forced to ensure the smooth running in the colony, for the ultimate function of producing good quality drones, which will carry the genes with their mother to virgin queens using their company colonies far. We can easily speculate as to the biological triggers that cause drones being raised at specific times and evicted and even gotten rid of other times. We can easily look at the mechanisms which could control facts drones as being a amount of the entire population and dictate any alternative functions they’ve already in the hive. We can easily imagine how drones seem to be able to find their approach to ‘congregation areas’, where they appear to accumulate when waiting for virgin queens to give by, once they themselves rarely survive over around three months and seldom from the winter. There exists much that individuals still have no idea and may never grasp.

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