The Need for Drones

While ‘natural beekeepers’ are used to considering 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 at large are much more likely to associate honeybees with honey. This has been the explanation for a person’s eye given to Apis mellifera because we began our connection to them just a couple thousand in the past.

In other words, I suspect most people – should they think it is whatsoever – often think of a honeybee colony as ‘a living system that produces honey’.

Just before that first meeting between humans and honeybees, these adaptable insects had flowering plants along with the natural world largely to themselves – more or less the odd dinosaur – and also over a lifetime of tens of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants along selected those that provided the highest quality and amount of pollen and nectar for his or her use. We could feel that less productive flowers became extinct, save if you adapted to working with the wind, instead of insects, to spread their genes.

Its those years – perhaps 130 million by some counts – the honeybee continuously become the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that individuals see and talk with today. Using a quantity of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a higher degree of genetic diversity within the Apis genus, among which is the propensity from the queen to mate at a ways from her hive, at flying speed possibly at some height from the ground, having a dozen roughly male bees, who have themselves travelled considerable distances from their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from foreign lands assures a degree of heterosis – fundamental to the vigour associated with a species – and carries its mechanism of choice for the drones involved: just the stronger, fitter drones have you ever gotten to mate.

A unique feature from the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening edge against your competitors on the reproductive mechanism, could be that the male bee – the drone – is born from an unfertilized egg by the process called parthenogenesis. Which means that the drones are haploid, i.e. only have one set of chromosomes produced from their mother. Therefore ensures that, in evolutionary terms, the queen’s biological imperative of doing it her genes to future generations is expressed in their genetic acquisition of her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and so are thus an inherited stalemate.

Therefore the suggestion I designed to the conference was that the biologically and logically legitimate strategy for about the honeybee colony will be as ‘a living system for producing fertile, healthy drones for the purpose of perpetuating the species by spreading the genes of the best quality queens’.

Considering this label of the honeybee colony gives us an entirely different perspective, when compared with the conventional perspective. We are able to now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels with this system and the worker bees as servicing the requirements the queen and performing all of the tasks necessary to ensure that the smooth running from the colony, to the ultimate reason for producing high quality drones, which will carry the genes with their mother to virgin queens business colonies far away. We can speculate regarding the biological triggers that create drones to get raised at times and evicted and even killed off other times. We can consider the mechanisms which could control the numbers of drones as a number of the complete population and dictate the other functions they own in the hive. We could imagine how drones seem able to uncover their method to ‘congregation areas’, where they seem to assemble when awaiting virgin queens to pass by, whenever they themselves rarely survive a lot more than a couple of months and seldom through the winter. There’s much that people still are not aware of and may never understand fully.

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