Brampton Pest Control: What Is A Drone Bee?

What Is A Drone Bee

While you may have heard of the queen and worker bees, do you know what the function of the drone bee is? Drones play an important role in the colony and help to perpetuate the species. Here’s everything you need to know about drone bees and how pest control in Brampton can help you eliminate them from your property.

What Are Drone Bees?

Drones are large male bees whose primary function is to mate with a queen. They live in their hive during the spring and summer but frequently leave to locate Drone Congregation Areas, where they can be part of a mating flight. During mating, drones will compete with hundreds or thousands of other male bees to mate with the queen. Rather than physically fighting, the bees will see who can fly closest to the queen. Typically, about 10 to 20 drones will mate with a queen during a mating flight. Once a drone mates with a queen, he releases his semen with such force that his endophallus is ripped from his abdomen. His abdomen then ruptures and he dies shortly after. Drones don’t have stingers or collect pollen like worker bees; instead, their only purpose is to mate with an unfertilized queen.

How Can You Identify a Drone Bee?

Although drones weigh about the same as the queen, they have some distinct differences. For example, the drone is stockier than the queen, with a thick abdomen, long legs and box-shaped stomach. One of the drone’s most distinctive characteristics is his eyes, which are much larger than the queen or other male bees. Drones also have large wings that completely cover their stomachs. Because the drone’s main purpose is to mate with the queen, his endophallus is tucked inside his body and protrudes when he’s ready to mate.

While many people believe that drones only die after mating, but this isn’t always the case. During the fall, the drones don’t contribute to the hive and merely become another mouth to feed. Because food is in short supply, the worker bees kick the drones out of the hive, where they usually die of starvation or hypothermia.

Why Are Drones So Important?

You may think that the drone isn’t an important member of the colony as compared to others, such as the worker bee. However, the drone actually offers genetic diversity to the colony, which is essential for reproductive success. A queen only mates during a short period, during which she’ll mate with drones from different colonies. This widens the genetic pool and offers benefits, such as the ability to resist disease. In other words, the greater the genetic diversity of the different drones the queen mates with, the greater chance the colony has of surviving. 

In addition to increasing genetic diversity, drones are responsible for cooling the temperature of the hive by flapping their wings. They’re also helpful to beekeepers because they appear in large numbers in the early spring, signalling that swarm season has begun.

How Pest Control in Brampton Can Help

Although there are some steps that you can take to prevent bees from invading your property, the quickest and most effective solution is to contact bee and wasp removal services. Be sure not to touch or even approach a bee’s nest, as it can cause the bees to interpret you as a threat. If you find a bee’s nest on your property, it’s best to contact an experienced professional who can thoroughly inspect your home and determine the extent of the infestation. Call Truly Nolen today to learn more about how we can safely and humanely remove a bee’s nest from your home and prevent its recurrence.