Drones are the males in the bee colony. They are a little bit bigger than honey bees, and smaller than the Queen_bee. Length of the drone is 15mm . Drones do not sting, they can’t collect nectar from the nature, pollen or propolis . The drones are born from the unfertilized brood also and they could be born from unfertilized eggs of honey bees, mostly in case when there is no queen bee in colony. The drone’s brood growth is 24 days and it is longer than of the honey bee (21 days) or queen bee (16 days).
In the spring time emergence of a larger number of drone brood in colony may be a clear sign of swarming in the next period. Drones life expectance is about 50 days. Around the 10th out of the brood, drones fly at the first orientation flights and when they are 20 days old they are sexually mature.
There are special places where drones gather and compete to have mating with bee queen. Drones’ key role in colony is in the mating, but also in protection of the bee queen during mating (flying around) from the various predators, they keep warm the brood, ventilate the hive, ventilate the honey to promote the dehydration.
Unfortunately, the drone, especially drones’ brood, can be a great source of infection of Varroa destructor.
In the autumn period when there is no brood or yield of nectar from the nature, the honey bees eject drones out of the hive and they are dying of cold and hunger.