Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Executing the Drones

While watching the hives the other day i saw a worker bee and a drone (male bee) having a fight. The worker didn't stop attacking the drone until it was pushed over the edge of the base of the hive. With their only task of mating with new queens being over by now, I suppose getting rid of all the drones seems like good hive management. The rest of the hive will not look after the drones over the winter and so they are all thrown out or executed.

It seems a bit brutal being a drone: you either mate with a queen bee and in the process rip your genitals off and die; or you don't get to mate and get executed at the end of the summer by the female worker bees for being of no use anymore.*

I'm aware these images aren't quite in focus - as it goes when i have my bee suit and hood on I can't clearly see what i'm taking images of.

* I can think of a couple of people who i hope come back as drones.

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