The Value of Drones

While ‘natural beekeepers’ are widely-used to thinking about a honeybee colony more when it comes to its intrinsic value for the natural world than its ability to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers and also the public in particular tend to be prone to associate honeybees with honey. It is been the explanation for the eye directed at Apis mellifera because we began our connection to them just a few thousand years back.

In other words, I believe a lot of people – should they think it is in any way – have a tendency to imagine a honeybee colony as ‘a living system that produces honey’.

Prior to 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 – well as over a span of ten million years had evolved alongside flowering plants together selected people who provided the very best quality and quantity of pollen and nectar because of their use. We could think that less productive flowers became extinct, save for people who adapted to working with the wind, as opposed to insects, to spread their genes.

For all of those years – perhaps 130 million by some counts – the honeybee continuously evolved into the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that we see and talk to today. On a variety of behavioural adaptations, she ensured an increased level of genetic diversity inside the Apis genus, among which is propensity with the queen to mate at a long way from her hive, at flying speed at some height from the ground, which has a dozen or so male bees, who have themselves travelled considerable distances off their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from outside the country assures a diploma of heterosis – important the vigour from a species – and carries its mechanism of selection for the drones involved: only the stronger, fitter drones are you getting to mate.

A silly feature from the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening edge against their competitors to the reproductive mechanism, is that the male bee – the drone – is born from an unfertilized egg by the process referred to as parthenogenesis. This means that the drones are haploid, i.e. just have some chromosomes produced by their mother. This in turn signifies that, in evolutionary terms, top biological imperative of doing it her genes to future generations is expressed in her own genetic investment in her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and are thus an innate dead end.

Therefore the suggestion I designed to the conference was a biologically and logically legitimate way of in connection with 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 model of the honeybee colony gives us a completely different perspective, when compared with the conventional standpoint. We can now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels just for this system along with the worker bees as servicing the requirements of the queen and performing all of the tasks forced to make sure the smooth running of the colony, for your ultimate function of producing top quality drones, that can carry the genes of the mother to virgin queens business colonies distant. We could speculate regarding biological triggers that cause drones to be raised at peak times and evicted as well as killed off at other times. We are able to consider the mechanisms that could control the numbers of drones as being a number of the overall population and dictate what other functions they may have in the hive. We are able to imagine how drones seem able to find their way to ‘congregation areas’, where they seem to collect when waiting for virgin queens to feed by, whenever they themselves rarely survive greater than three months and seldom from the winter. There’s much that we still do not know and may even never completely understand.

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