What are some facts about drone bees?


Quick Answer

Drone bees are always males. The drones are responsible for mating with queen bees. Drones most often mate with queens outside their own hives. Drones only live for approximately 90 days and are forced out of the hive during winter. New drone bees are born into the hive in the spring. Although drones can't sting, they mimic stinging behavior by swinging the lower abdomen when threatened.

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Full Answer

Drone bees are larger than worker bees and feature eyes that are about twice the size. Drone bees do not search for food or participate in other hive activities, such as building the hive or tending to young. Typically, drones are forced out of the hive in regions with cold winters, which helps the remaining bees conserve resources for the winter.

Drone bees are produced when the queen lays an unfertilized egg. Because the egg is not fertilized, the drone bee only has the DNA of the queen bee.

The number of drones in a colony is highest in the spring, when the colony swarms in search of a new hive. Drones are born with receptors that allow them to locate the queen bee, and the drones may cluster together to wait for a queen bee to fly by. After mating, the drone dies.

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