While ‘natural beekeepers’ are utilized to considering a honeybee colony more with regards to its intrinsic value towards the natural world than its capability to produce honey for human use, conventional beekeepers and the public as a whole less complicated prone to associate honeybees with honey. It has been the main cause of the attention presented to Apis mellifera because we began our association with them just a couple thousand in the past.
Put simply, I suspect many people – should they think of it at all – have a tendency to think of a honeybee colony as ‘a living system which causes honey’.
Ahead of that first meeting between humans and honeybees, these adaptable insects had flowering plants as well as the natural world largely privately – give or take the odd dinosaur – as well as over a span of tens of millions of years had evolved alongside flowering plants together selected those which provided the best quality and level of pollen and nectar because of their use. We could think that less productive flowers became extinct, save for people who adapted to working with the wind, instead of 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 people see and meet with today. On a number of behavioural adaptations, she ensured a high level of genetic diversity from the Apis genus, among the actual propensity of the queen to mate at far from her hive, at flying speed at some height in the ground, which has a dozen approximately male bees, which have themselves travelled considerable distances off their own colonies. Multiple mating with strangers from another country assures a degree of heterosis – important to the vigour associated with a species – and carries its mechanism of option for the drones involved: exactly the stronger, fitter drones ever get to mate.
An unusual feature from the honeybee, which adds a species-strengthening competitive edge to the reproductive mechanism, could be that the male bee – the drone – comes into the world from an unfertilized egg by a process called parthenogenesis. This means that the drones are haploid, i.e. only have one set of chromosomes based on their mother. Thus ensures that, in evolutionary terms, the queen’s biological imperative of passing on her genes to our children and grandchildren is expressed in her genetic investment in her drones – remembering that her workers cannot reproduce and they are thus an inherited stalemate.
So the suggestion I created to the conference was that the biologically and logically legitimate strategy for about the honeybee colony is as ‘a living system for producing fertile, healthy drones for the purpose of perpetuating the species by spreading the genes of the best quality queens’.
Thinking through this style of the honeybee colony provides us an entirely different perspective, in comparison with the traditional perspective. We can now see nectar, honey and pollen simply as fuels just for this system along with the worker bees as servicing the requirements the queen and performing every one of the tasks necessary to make sure the smooth running with the colony, to the ultimate intent behind producing high quality drones, that may carry the genes of the mother to virgin queens business colonies far. We could speculate regarding the biological triggers that cause drones being raised at certain times and evicted or even gotten rid of at other times. We are able to look at the mechanisms which could control the numbers of drones as being a percentage of the overall population and dictate what other functions they’ve already within the hive. We are able to imagine how drones look like able to find their way to ‘congregation areas’, where they appear to accumulate when expecting virgin queens to pass through by, once they themselves rarely survive greater than three months and hardly ever over the winter. There is certainly much that people still do not know and could never completely understand.
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