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Darren the bee! Not quite Romeo!

Warning: This post contains graphic information about insect reproduction!

A male bee is called a drone. In Dutch the plural word for drones is Darren . Singular is dar

This makes me laugh!

Darren in English is a male name.

Male bees are funny creatures.

A swarm (largely female.)

Best of all we can’t work out a great deal of their purpose.

Darren spends his day in a casual manner. He can’t feed himself so relies on the female worker bees for sustenance.

The women of the hive raise the drones. These fellas have one real purpose in life.

They will mate with the queen bee, Moer, on her honeymoon flight.

It’s tragic and gruesome. look away now!

In return she castrates him at the point of pleasure. He will fall to his death. She’ll repeat the process with a couple of his comrades so that she can store sperm to fertilise her eggs for the duration of her life.

She’s going to lay up to 1000 eggs a day and each of her many daughters lives about six weeks.

The spare darrens that miss out on that special date night spend the rest of the summer in decadent unemployment.

They are groomed and fed while the women:
tend to the nursery,
feed the pupae,
clean the house,
maintain the honeycomb,
protect against invaders,
collect nectar,
scout for pollen,
create tree resin for making propolis,
take out the dead,
feed the queen,
groom the queen,
make wax,
make honey,
maintain the inside temperature at 34 degrees C
evaporate the nectar,
pay attention to the weather,
prepare for moving house….
And all in complete darkness!

This Darren story has another tragic end.

At the end of the summer many of them become neglected. The worker bees stop feeding them. And they may be chased from the hive.

It’s a classic unhappy marriage situation where unbalanced work schedules lead to disharmony.



Comedy, tragedy and drama! Bee keeping covers the whole range!


19 comments on “Darren the bee! Not quite Romeo!

  1. rabthepict
    March 26, 2014

    I’ll keep cooking as long as I can stay this winter 🙂


  2. lindaswildlifegarden
    March 26, 2014

    Reblogged this on Linda's wildlife garden and commented:
    lovely post about bees


  3. Sarah
    March 26, 2014

    so love to read your posts 🙂 Just wondering though, how the gender balance is not more equal? Or are male pupae dispatched?


    • lizard100
      March 26, 2014

      No, a queen lays around twenty percent male. Only female eggs are fertilised; the unfertilised eggs turn into the drones. She decides I. The balance and that’s the big mystery. No one knows why. Beekeepers can manipulate the number if drones as they are perceived as wasteful if hive resources.


  4. Expat Eye
    March 26, 2014

    Bees mirror Latvian society 😉 Interesting!


    • lizard100
      March 26, 2014

      Mis Darren a popular name there too?


      • Expat Eye
        March 26, 2014

        No, just women stealing sperm and emasculating men 😉 Pretty sure they’d castrate them if they could but it’s (probably) not legal here. 😉


      • lizard100
        March 26, 2014

        I’m crying. Lying on the floor! Laughing! Snort!


      • Expat Eye
        March 27, 2014

        Ha ha! Brilliant!


  5. carolinecocker
    March 27, 2014

    Ok, my favourite fact EVER is now that male bees are called Darren in Dutch. My dad used to keep bees, primarily I think because he has four children that used to bug (haha) him constantly, and we were frightened of bees, so being with hives was the most peaceful place!


    • lizard100
      March 27, 2014

      That’s awesome! It always makes me chuckle and no one here really appreciates it! Thank you!


  6. mylatinnotebook
    March 27, 2014

    My brother’s name is Darren. Now it all makes sense. Love this!


  7. Rambling Woods
    March 29, 2014

    I really spent last spring recovering and watching the bees…. New respect for them


  8. Latest research shows that darrens do a bit of work – they move food around
    the colony to where it is needed. But sisters still do most of it for themselves.


    • lizard100
      April 23, 2014

      That’s true : ) I guess it’s like going to the fridge! thanks for reading


  9. beeseeker
    June 24, 2015

    I will never look at anyone called Darren in the same way again 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on March 26, 2014 by in beekeeping and tagged , , , .

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