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The Need for Drones

While ‘natural beekeepers’ are utilized to considering a honeybee colony more regarding its intrinsic value to the natural world than its chance to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers along with the public at large less difficult prone to associate honeybees with honey. It has been the main cause of the attention presented to Apis mellifera since we began our association with them just a couple thousand years back.

In other words, I believe most people – should they think of it in any respect – tend to make 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 and the natural world largely on their own – give or take the odd dinosaur – and over a span of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants coupled with selected those which provided the best quality and volume of pollen and nectar for use. We can easily assume that less productive flowers became extinct, save for those that adapted to presenting the wind, instead of insects, to spread their genes.

It really is those years – perhaps 130 million by some counts – the honeybee continuously turned out to be the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature we see and meet with today. Through a variety of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a high amount of genetic diversity within the Apis genus, among which is the propensity of the queen to mate at a ways from her hive, at flying speed and at some height from the ground, using a dozen roughly male bees, that have themselves travelled considerable distances using their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from foreign lands assures a college degree of heterosis – fundamental to the vigour from a species – and carries a unique mechanism of selection for the drones involved: only the stronger, fitter drones ever get to mate.

An unusual feature in the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening edge against their competitors on the reproductive mechanism, is the male bee – the drone – is born from an unfertilized egg with a process referred to as parthenogenesis. This means that the drones are haploid, i.e. simply have a bouquet of chromosomes produced from their mother. As a result signifies that, in evolutionary terms, the queen’s biological imperative of doing it her genes to future generations is expressed in her own genetic acquisition of her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and they are thus a hereditary stalemate.

Therefore the suggestion I built to the conference was that a biologically and logically legitimate way of concerning the honeybee colony is as ‘a living system for producing fertile, healthy drones for the purpose of perpetuating the species by spreading the genes of the most useful quality queens’.

Thinking through this style of the honeybee colony provides us an entirely different perspective, when compared to the conventional standpoint. We can now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels with this system and the worker bees as servicing the demands of the queen and performing all the tasks necessary to guarantee the smooth running with the colony, for your ultimate function of producing top quality drones, which will carry the genes with their mother to virgin queens from other colonies distant. We could speculate regarding the biological triggers that create drones being raised at times and evicted and even got rid of at other times. We can easily take into account the mechanisms that may control facts drones being a number of the overall population and dictate any alternative functions they may have inside the hive. We can easily imagine how drones seem to be able to uncover their strategy to ‘congregation areas’, where they appear to accumulate when waiting for virgin queens to pass through by, when they themselves rarely survive over around three months and seldom from the winter. There’s much that individuals still do not know and might never completely understand.

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