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  • adrianchowells

A life in a year | Never a drone be

Bee keeping.

No I've not gone all Shakespearian. I've started a bee keeping course and I am sure I will potentially turn into a bee keeping bore if I am not careful. I do love learning and sharing. However, for this blog I just wanted to share some of the fascinating things about bees which took me by surprise, made me laugh or just amazed me.

The Queen Bee I am sure master bee keepers will cringe at the way I am going to describe this but it make sense to me. The colony of bees, at their height there are tens of thousands of honey bees, are ruled over (sort of) by a Queen Bee. The colony is a matriarch.

Once she is born she in essence flys out, mates with up to 15 drones and then returns to the hive carrying all the eggs and sperm she needs to lay eggs for the rest of her life. Potentially up to 200 a day although most people think that is relatively too high.

The drones, who are male, once mated die. So for all of you males out there bemoaning your sex life just think of a honey bee and be gracious.

It gets worse for males. Once the season is over, Septemberish, the drones are kicked out of the hive as they are no use to man or more accurately woman and die. They don't even get to cook Christmas dinner. Being male in a colony does not seem like something to aspire to.

The worker bees, who are are all females then do all of the work around the hive in terms of cleaning, feeding the children, going to the supermarket or in the case foraging on plants, and generally looking after the place.

I am looking forward to the honey, but that will not be until next year sadly.

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