The Need for Drones

While ‘natural beekeepers’ are used to thinking of a honeybee colony more with regards to its intrinsic value to the natural world than its capability to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers and the public most importantly are much more prone to associate honeybees with honey. It’s been the explanation for the interest given to Apis mellifera because we began our association with them just a couple thousand years back.

In other words, I think most of the people – should they consider it in any respect – usually make a honeybee colony as ‘a living system which causes honey’.

Before that first meeting between humans and honeybees, these adaptable insects had flowering plants and the natural world largely on their own – give or take the odd dinosaur – as well as over a span of ten million years had evolved alongside flowering plants along selected people that provided the best and quantity of pollen and nectar for use. We can easily believe that less productive flowers became extinct, save for individuals who adapted to presenting the wind, rather than insects, to spread their genes.

It really is those years – perhaps 130 million by a few counts – the honeybee continuously turned out to be the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that people see and meet with today. On a amount of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a top level of genetic diversity from the Apis genus, among the actual propensity from the queen to mate at a long way from her hive, at flying speed and at some height from your ground, with a dozen roughly male bees, which may have themselves travelled considerable distances using their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from outside the country assures a diploma of heterosis – vital to the vigour associated with a species – and carries its mechanism of selection for the drones involved: merely the stronger, fitter drones are you getting to mate.

A unique feature of the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening edge against your competitors towards the reproductive mechanism, is that the male bee – the drone – is born from an unfertilized egg with a process known as parthenogenesis. Because of this the drones are haploid, i.e. just have a bouquet of chromosomes derived from their mother. Therefore implies that, in evolutionary terms, top biological imperative of passing it 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 they are thus an inherited no-through.

Hence the suggestion I designed to the conference was which a biologically and logically legitimate way of about the honeybee colony is really as ‘a living system for producing fertile, healthy drones when it comes to perpetuating the species by spreading the genes of the best quality queens’.

Thinking through this model of the honeybee colony gives us an entirely different perspective, when compared with the standard perspective. We are able to now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels because of this system and the worker bees as servicing the requirements of the queen and performing each of the tasks needed to ensure the smooth running from the colony, for your ultimate intent behind producing high quality drones, that will carry the genes of their mother to virgin queens from other colonies distant. We can easily speculate as to the biological triggers that cause drones being raised at certain times and evicted as well as killed off other times. We can easily take into account the mechanisms that could control the numbers of drones like a number of the general population and dictate the other functions they’ve already in the hive. We are able to imagine how drones appear to be capable of finding their method to ‘congregation areas’, where they seem to collect when waiting for virgin queens to pass through by, after they themselves rarely survive a lot more than around three months and seldom over the winter. There is certainly much that people still don’t know and may never fully understand.

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