While ‘natural beekeepers’ are used to considering a honeybee colony more in terms of its intrinsic value for the natural world than its capability to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers along with the public as a whole less difficult more likely to associate honeybees with honey. It is been the reason behind the eye directed at Apis mellifera because we began our connection to them just a couple thousand years ago.
In other words, I suspect a lot of people – whenever they think it is in any way – usually create a honeybee colony as ‘a living system who makes honey’.
Before that first meeting between humans and honeybees, these adaptable insects had flowering plants as well as the natural world largely on their own – give or take the odd dinosaur – as well as over a span of tens of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants and had selected people that provided the best and quantity of pollen and nectar for his or her use. We can assume that less productive flowers became extinct, save for individuals who adapted to getting the wind, as an alternative to insects, to spread their genes.
For all of those years – perhaps 130 million by some counts – the honeybee continuously evolved into the highly efficient, extraordinarily adaptable, colony-dwelling creature that individuals see and talk with today. On a quantity of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a top amount of genetic diversity inside Apis genus, among which is propensity of the queen to mate at a long way from her hive, at flying speed and at some height from the ground, having a dozen or so male bees, which may 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 from a species – and carries a unique mechanism of option for the drones involved: just the stronger, fitter drones ever get to mate.
A unique feature from the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening competitive edge towards the reproductive mechanism, is the male bee – the drone – exists from an unfertilized egg by a process generally known as parthenogenesis. Which means the drones are haploid, i.e. have only some chromosomes produced from their mother. This in turn signifies that, in evolutionary terms, top biological imperative of passing it on her genes to future generations is expressed in their genetic acquisition of her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and are thus a genetic dead end.
Therefore the suggestion I built to the conference was which a biologically and logically legitimate strategy for concerning the honeybee colony is as ‘a living system for creating fertile, healthy drones when it comes to perpetuating the species by spreading the genes of the best quality queens’.
Considering this model of the honeybee colony provides for us a completely different perspective, in comparison to the conventional standpoint. We can now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels just for this system and the worker bees as servicing the demands of the queen and performing all the tasks necessary to ensure that the smooth running with the colony, to the ultimate reason for producing top quality drones, that will carry the genes of their mother to virgin queens from other colonies far away. We could speculate regarding the biological triggers that induce drones being raised at specific times and evicted or perhaps killed off sometimes. We could look at the mechanisms that could control diet plan drones being a number of the entire population and dictate any alternative functions they may have inside hive. We can easily imagine how drones seem capable of finding their approach to ‘congregation areas’, where they appear to assemble when expecting virgin queens to feed by, once they themselves rarely survive over a couple of months and hardly ever with the winter. There exists much that people still don’t know and could never fully understand.
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