The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
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.
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,
scout for pollen,
create tree resin for making propolis,
take out the dead,
feed the queen,
groom the queen,
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!
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...