The Value of Drones

While ‘natural beekeepers’ are used to thinking of a honeybee colony more when it comes to its intrinsic value for the natural world than its capability to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers and the public at large less complicated more prone to associate honeybees with honey. It’s been the main cause of the eye provided to Apis mellifera since we began our connection to them only a few thousand in years past.

In other words, I suspect a lot of people – whenever they think it is at all – usually make a honeybee colony as ‘a living system who makes honey’.

Just before that first meeting between humans and honeybees, these adaptable insects had flowering plants and also the natural world largely to themselves – give or take the odd dinosaur – and over a lifetime of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants together selected those that provided the best quality and level of pollen and nectar for use. We could think that less productive flowers became extinct, save for individuals who adapted to presenting the wind, as an alternative to 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 we see and meet with today. By means of a variety of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a top a higher level genetic diversity inside Apis genus, among the propensity from the queen to mate at some distance from her hive, at flying speed at some height through the ground, which has a dozen approximately male bees, which may have themselves travelled considerable distances using their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from outside the country assures a qualification of heterosis – fundamental to the vigour of the species – and carries its own mechanism of option for the drones involved: just the stronger, fitter drones are you getting to mate.

A rare feature with the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening competitive edge on the reproductive mechanism, is the male bee – the drone – exists from an unfertilized egg with a process referred to as parthenogenesis. Because of this the drones are haploid, i.e. just have one set of chromosomes produced from their mother. As a result implies that, in evolutionary terms, the queen’s biological imperative of passing it on her genes to future generations is expressed in her genetic investment in her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and are thus a hereditary stalemate.

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

Thinking through this type of the honeybee colony provides us a totally different perspective, when compared with the traditional standpoint. We can now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels for this system and the worker bees as servicing the needs of the queen and performing all of the tasks necessary to ensure that the smooth running in the colony, to the ultimate purpose of producing top quality drones, which will carry the genes of these mother to virgin queens business colonies far. We can speculate for the biological triggers that can cause drones to become raised at specific times and evicted and even gotten rid of sometimes. We can easily look at the mechanisms that may control facts drones like a amount of the entire population and dictate how many other functions they’ve already within the hive. We could imagine how drones look like able to uncover their way to ‘congregation areas’, where they seem to assemble when looking forward to virgin queens to pass by, whenever they themselves rarely survive over a couple of months and rarely over the winter. There is much that we still are not aware of and might never grasp.

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