As Valentine’s Day approaches and we focus on “love”, I am so happy I am not a male bee! Mother Nature must have been doin’ some serious man hating on the day that she decided to create the male honey bee. Some guy must have forgotten to put the toilet seat back down that day or left some clothes on the floor for the very last time cause the poor old male honey bee sure got a bum rap for the way his life was about to evolve.
Male honey bees are called Drones. I know that Mother Nature had nothing to do with naming them, but you’d think that the guy who made up the name could have given this a bit more thought. To me, the word Drone conjures up images of “dim-witted” or “half-brained” . How’s a guy suppose to get a good start in life with that mill stone already wrapped around his neck? It’s like naming your kid “Dork”. Yah…that’s gonna bode well in the school playground for Junior!
Second, Mother Nature has decided that the drone should take more time to develop than the “girl” bees in the colony. Because of this, the Drone has become the best host for the Varroa mite who gets another 3 days to continue “sucking” on his blood. Many a beekeeper has learned to collect these drone combs and put them in the freezer as a strategy to help diminish Varroa mite populations in the hive. So the poor male bee doesn’t even get to “become” a bee before he is thrown into the deep freeze!
If he is fortunate to escape the deep freeze, than the Drone hits “pay dirt” for a while and hangs out with his fellow drones not too far from the hive waiting…..and waiting………..for a virgin Queen to fly by. It must be a good time for the drones. Hanging out with your buddies, drinking a few honey cream ales,talkin’ about sports and telling tales about that large mouth bass that “got away”.But when they see The Queen….well…… it’s every “man” for himself as they desperately try to run her down and mate with her in mid-flight. Now…that’s a feat that is way under appreciated. But wait, the Queen won’t just mate with 1 drone, she’ll do this with up to around 15 of them all in the same flight! Hey fellas, image if it was the drone who got the chance to mate with 15 virgin Queens all in a single flight. Those poor guys would get an even more despicable rap with a whole bunch of off-colored language that linked up with “dirty dogs”, and “good for nothing nymphomaniacs”. Yah…the drones are the decrepit ones!
But, getting back to the so-called “lucky” drones…….if Mr. Drone successfully mates with The Queen, than his “man hood” is RIPPED RIGHT OFF as he completes his task and then Mr. Drone falls perilously to his demise. HOLY FREAKIN’ #$*#!!!!!!!!!!! Now, that’s no way to die…free-falling to your demise from high up in the sky without your “winkie” as your best buddies laugh and point to the gaping void in your mid section!
And finally, if you managed to escape the “deep-freeze” and weren’t “lucky” enough to mate with The Queen, than you are banished from the hive in the autumn where you are left to freeze or starve to death! Unfortunately for the Drone, he is seen as a freeloader in the hive at this time off the year and will only diminish the honey reserves that will get the colony through Winter. Man oh Man……..Mother Nature is sure awful “tough” on the poor old drone.
So…there you have it. If you don’t get frozen by your beekeeper, have your mid-section ripped off and fall perilously to your demise, than you will be evicted from your home in the Fall where you will either freeze or starve to death. On this Valentines Day, I’ll give thanks that I am not a Drone.
“What’s that Beloved Wife…….the toilet seat????????? No it was Dutiful Son who left it up again!”……… Hey…….Between you and me….he’s younger, stronger……..and has lots of time…………… to learn how to take one for the team! BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBZZZZZZZZZZ.