While ‘natural beekeepers’ are used to considering a honeybee colony more regarding its intrinsic value for the natural world than its capacity to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers as well as the public at large tend to be more likely to associate honeybees with honey. It is been the explanation for the interest provided to Apis mellifera because we began our connection to them just a few thousand in the past.
In other words, I believe many people – whenever they think of it in any respect – have a tendency to think of a honeybee colony as ‘a living system that produces honey’.
Before that first meeting between humans and honeybees, these adaptable insects had flowering plants along with the natural world largely privately – more or less the odd dinosaur – well as over a duration of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants and had selected people that provided the best and amount of pollen and nectar for use. We could feel that less productive flowers became extinct, save if you adapted to working with the wind, as opposed to insects, to spread their genes.
Its those years – perhaps 130 million by some counts – the honeybee continuously turned out to be the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that we see and meet with today. Through a amount of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a top amount of genetic diversity within the Apis genus, among the actual propensity from the queen to mate at a ways from her hive, at flying speed possibly at some height from your ground, with a dozen roughly male bees, who have themselves travelled considerable distances from their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from outside the country assures a college degree of heterosis – important the vigour of any species – and carries its very own mechanism of choice for the drones involved: merely the stronger, fitter drones find yourself getting to mate.
An unusual feature of the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening edge against your competitors for the reproductive mechanism, is that the male bee – the drone – exists from an unfertilized egg by a process referred to as parthenogenesis. Which means that the drones are haploid, i.e. have only a bouquet of chromosomes based on their mother. Thus ensures that, in evolutionary terms, top biological imperative of passing it on her genes to our children and grandchildren is expressed in their genetic purchase of her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and so are thus an inherited dead end.
Hence the suggestion I made to the conference was that the biologically and logically legitimate means of concerning the honeybee colony is really as ‘a living system for producing fertile, healthy drones for the purpose of perpetuating the species by spreading the genes of the most useful quality queens’.
Thinking through this model of the honeybee colony provides for us an entirely different perspective, when compared with the standard point of view. We can now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels because of this system along with the worker bees as servicing the needs of the queen and performing each of the tasks necessary to guarantee the smooth running in the colony, to the ultimate purpose of producing good quality drones, that can carry the genes of these mother to virgin queens using their company colonies a long way away. We can speculate regarding biological triggers that cause drones being raised at times and evicted or even got rid of at other times. We can easily look at the mechanisms that may control the amount of drones being a amount of the complete population and dictate the other functions they’ve already in the hive. We could imagine how drones seem to be able to get their strategy to ‘congregation areas’, where they seem to collect when looking forward to virgin queens to pass by, when they themselves rarely survive greater than around three months and rarely from the winter. There is much we still do not know and could never grasp.
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