Here temperatures are getting colder and colder and today we would like to speak about something a bit…hot! Jokes aside 🙂 today you will read about a bee peculiarity that has impressed me veeery much…no, sorry, actually, better to say…shocked me veeery much! But since, we all know, nature is nature and it’s wonderful the way it is…don’t be too much worried, in the end everything will probably end up with just a big laughter! Or at least this is what has happened to all the people with who I shared this oddity about the bee world. C’mon, we know we woke up your interest…get ready for this because if you are not pretty in the beekeeping world, probably it’s something new for you!
The mating in the arena
Let’s enter now on the tiptoe to have a look at a intimate moment of this black and yellow universe. The mating. The beequeen, the female. The drone, the male. But not only one actually. A bit more. Such as between some hundreds to 15thousands drones. It depends on how many bees there are in that specific area. From Spring to Summer, drones decide to have a trip to reach these fecundation arenas. All there together awaiting the first beequeen passing by. But what is this arena? Where is it? It is a space at about 40 metres height, with a diametre that can be between some dozens or a few hundreds of metres. Generally in the central and hottest hours of the day, drones reach these spaces.
The drone stops there for a while, about half an hour. If a beequeen flies there and only if she enters that arena, the drones will start to consider her. The beequeen finds them without any issue, because she is attracted by their pheromone. In her whole life the beequeen will leave her hive only in this occasion and only in this circumstance she’ll copulate. Let’s say, for her once is more than enough. But ehy, what a ‘once’: she mates with not only one drone, but from 8 to 20 drones. This allows her to collect around 6 millions spermatozoas. Trust us, they’ll be enough for the rest of her life! Another little big oddity: only the beequeen lays eggs in the hive. But why? The worker bees too are female, aren’t they? Yes, that’s absolutely true but their reproductive organs are not developed. For this too they are committed into many other different activities for the rest of their existence. Did you know that the sting is a primitive rest of their reproductive system? It is a modification of their organ used for laying eggs and this is why only the females have a sting. Bear in mind: a drone will never sting you 🙂
But wait… why does the title of this article start with ‘The death of the drone’??
Yep, we wanted to tell you this too! Drones too have two testicles containing seminal fluid. The reproductive system gets violently ripped off when the beequeen gets fertilized and at that point the drone dies. Too many emotions, poor…or better to say, too much pressure, literally an explosion of happiness, that his little body can’t stand! (I know, this made your jaw drop)
Did you know about this? Honestly, I couldn’t believe when Basti told me so the first time. I still remember the reaction of my parents as well, laughing out loud telling ‘Ma dighet del bu??‘ (‘But are you serious??‘, in the dialect of my region). Of course, poor drone… for sure an unexpected way to die. Don’t you believe so?
Looking forward to reading your comments.