Honeybee on pink flower

Brightwell Bees

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The drone bee

The larger male drone bee is raised in a bigger wax cell which has been constructed by the workers.

When the queen lays an egg, she measures that the drone cell is larger and lays an unfertilised egg – incredibly she can actually control whether she lays a fertilised egg which becomes a worker, or an unfertilised egg, which develops into a male drone.

Drones only purpose in life is to mate - in mid air with young queen bees from other colonies. Drones have large eyes so that they can spot their mate, and large wing muscles so that they fly quickly to catch the queen.

Simple crop (small A)

The larger male, drone bee (marked in blue on image)

Alas, the successful drone pays the ultimate price for his success and dies immediately after a successful mating.

The ‘superorganism’ bee colony is extremely ruthless: during the winter, the colony does not need male drones, so in late autumn they are all physically evicted from the hive by the worker bees.

Copyright © Viv and Steve Moll Brightwell Bees 2009 - 2016