The Value of Drones

While ‘natural beekeepers’ are widely-used to considering 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 also the public at large less difficult more likely to associate honeybees with honey. It’s been the explanation for the attention presented to Apis mellifera because we began our association with them just a couple of thousand years back.

Quite simply, I believe most of the people – if they think of it in any way – have a tendency to imagine 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 along with the natural world largely privately – more or less the odd dinosaur – and also over a length of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants and had selected people who provided the best quality and amount of pollen and nectar for use. We are able to think that less productive flowers became extinct, save for individuals who adapted to getting the wind, rather than insects, to spread their genes.

It really is those years – perhaps 130 million by a few counts – the honeybee continuously developed into the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that people see and talk to today. Using a variety of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a higher level of genetic diversity inside the Apis genus, among the propensity from the queen to mate at a long way from her hive, at flying speed possibly at some height from the ground, having a dozen or so male bees, that have themselves travelled considerable distances from other own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from another country assures a diploma of heterosis – important to the vigour of any species – and carries its own mechanism of choice for the drones involved: merely the stronger, fitter drones are you getting to mate.

A unique feature in the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening edge against your competitors for the reproductive mechanism, would be that the male bee – the drone – is born from an unfertilized egg by a process generally known as parthenogenesis. Because of this the drones are haploid, i.e. just have some chromosomes derived from their mother. Therefore means that, in evolutionary terms, the queen’s biological imperative of passing it on her genes to generations to come is expressed in her own genetic purchase of her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and therefore are thus a hereditary dead end.

Therefore the suggestion I created to the conference was a biologically and logically legitimate strategy for in connection with honeybee colony is as ‘a living system for creating fertile, healthy drones with regards to perpetuating the species by spreading the genes of the best quality queens’.

Considering this label of the honeybee colony provides a wholly different perspective, in comparison to the typical standpoint. We could now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels because of this system along with the worker bees as servicing the demands of the queen and performing every one of the tasks needed to ensure that the smooth running in the colony, for that ultimate purpose of producing top quality drones, that can carry the genes of the mother to virgin queens off their colonies far away. We can easily speculate for the biological triggers that cause drones to get raised at peak times and evicted as well as gotten rid of at other times. We could look at the mechanisms that will control the numbers of drones like a area of the general population and dictate any alternative functions they may have in the hive. We could imagine how drones seem able to get their way to ‘congregation areas’, where they appear to assemble when looking forward to virgin queens to pass through by, whenever they themselves rarely survive over three months and hardly ever through the winter. There is certainly much that individuals still don’t know and may never grasp.

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