On Why Being a Drone Totally Sucks

To understand why being a drone totally sucks, you need a little context. Every bee you see visiting a flower is female. Every bee that makes honey is female. Every bee that guards the hive is female. Every nurse bee is female. Every bee that builds wax is female. The Queen is female. You see? Any work that's done in the hive is done by the ladies. (Keep your comparisons to human society to yourself, I know some very hard working men.)

Drones are the only male bees in the hive, and aside from the fact that they might get the chance to mate one day, they are a drain on resources and general lay-abouts.

Honey comb cells are made in different sizes depending on what it is to be used for. Drones require larger cells to grow, and their egg-to-flying stage takes longer than for a worker bee. A worker bee is ready to get to work in 21 days. A drone bee is ready to loaf around in about 24 days.
This chart shows the daily development cycle of all three castes, from egg to adult.
From Dummies.com
Probably the part of being a drone that sucks the  most comes in fall. Honey Bees, in general, are noble and self-sacrificing. When a worker bee is ill or no longer able to contribute, she will quietly go die. Drones are expected to do this. There is no sense in allowing them to over winter, since they will glut on honey that, without a nectar flow, is not being replenished. Thus the guard bees will encourage them to fall on their swords. Should they be unwilling to take the nobler path, their wings and legs will be chewed off and they will be unceremoniously hurled from the edge of the hive. Because honey bees are industriously savage.

Of course, there is mating, right? Nothing inspires a lazy beast like a little action. Let's talk about bee-sex.

The Queen mates once her entire life, then stores the acquired genetic material (bee sperm) for the rest of her days. It is appropriately called a "virgin flight." This flight is why drone bees have such large eyes compared to their sisters; they have to see a lone Queen. Two hundred feet in the air. 

So, hooray! You see a queen! She's not your mom! Go get her, right? Yes, for the propagation of your species, please do. Unfortunately for drones, their mating apparatus is torn from their bodies during the mating process. They then fall to their deaths, albeit with a smile on their proboscis. 

In summary: You have no real skills. Your sisters only take care of you as long as you're needed, then you are brutally dispatched. You may, or may not, get to mate. If you don't... crap! You didn't get to? You're going to have your legs chewed off! You got to? You're torn to bits and smote upon the earth!

Like I said, being a drone totally sucks. 


  1. so glad human society does not function in this way, i really don't want to be stabbed to death by vindictive women.


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