Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Before embarking on this adventure to becoming a beekeeper, I knew there were queen bees and worker bees. I didn't know how to tell the difference and I am not sure I knew there were drones. Drones are the only male bees in the hive. They are bigger by far then the workers and can easily be misidentified as a queen. They are obviously gentle or I would NEVER pick one up without gloves. In fact, drones don't even have a stinger so they are harmless. Drones don't protect the hive, they don't make honeycomb, they don't forage for pollen, they don't make honey. So what are the good for? Breeding. They breed with a virgin queen on her nuptial flight (I can't use these phrases without giggling a little) and that is the extent of their usefulness. In the fall when the hive is preparing for winter, the drones are physically thrown from the hive to die. The workers and queen don't want to have to feed him throughout the winter when they can just make more next spring. I kind of feel bad for them because they are so gentle, but I guess that's what you get for being lazy!

1 comment:

  1. I was going to say that being a drone sounded like good work until it came to being thrown out in the cold to die.


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