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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never seen this in my yard before. It looks like these drones were successful in getting their genes into the gene pool. The sight of this makes me cringe, but only a little bit. :D I thought I would share, since this is something you just don't see every day.

I have two hives in the back yard and both queens are already mated, so I'm wondering why I'm seeing these "lucky" drones. I have a few books about bees, but none of them go into great detail on bee sex. I thought a mating queen will mate until her spermatheca is completely full and that would last her for life. Correct me if I'm wrong, I know you will :lookout:




 

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Looks like they have a smile at least.
 

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If I had to guess, I'd say that those drones got lucky somewhere else and were able to return home. Then they died and the undertakers tossed them out.
Somewhere out there is a newly mated queen(s) with, at least in part, genes from your
hive(s).
 

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Great pictures - thanks for sharing
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If I had to guess, I'd say that those drones got lucky somewhere else and were able to return home. Then they died and the undertakers tossed them out.
Somewhere out there is a newly mated queen(s) with, at least in part, genes from your
hive(s).
I didn't think of that, but it totally makes sense! Awesome!
 

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"Completely full" is always best, but some queens do get "full" (due to not enough drones, bad weather, etc). Whatever she does "get" in fact "last her for life" because after she start laying she never mates again.
 

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Yesterday I found a drone that looked just like these. It was floating in the pool. Wonder if I have a newly mated queen. The hives keep making queen cells.
 

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This must mean that drones don't explode after mating, right?
 

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Did I read it somewhere or dream it, that something similar is the result of an infection or parasite. I can't find anything on it though. Sure looks like a fungus of the dingus!
 

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Well, just when you didn't think this thread could get more odd...

The other day, I went swimming after working my hives in a MUCH lower elevation in a wilderness area. I was in the water, and several DRONES kept flying around me in circles. One landed in the water next to me and I valiantly saved it and kept it on me for a while. Then I noticed a-- liquid. I didn't know quite what was going on, so I put the bee down on the shore and went back to swimming. Two more drones circle me, and I see some truly, I think, FERAL worker bees on the shore collecting ashes from a campfire. I watch where they are going-- seems back towards the woods.

Anyway, I came back to my drone, and this was just what he looked like. I sat there questioning myself-- drones can't sting?!? What did he sting? I was very confused-- thought he must have been wounded when I caught him. I didn't take a picture-- couldn't bare to. So there are several options here:

1) That drone was trying to make it back to his own hive after mating, but fell in the water next to me. I was very near the virgin queen, and that's why drones were circling me.
2) I was in a drone congregation area.
3) I had enough queen pheromone on me from working the hives that the drones were attracted to my clothing (I was wearing the same clothes that I had been wearing under my bee suit and I never completely submerged myself in the water). Maybe the drone tried to mate with my arm and died unfulfilled?

However this happened, I was very sad to see the drone expire. I had planned on taking him home to one of my hives, being that drones are accepted anywhere. I'd love some feral genetics.
 

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I'd have to study things more closely than I have time to right now, but keep in mind sudden changes in pressure and pressure on their abdomen will cause a drone to evert which always kills them. Off the top of my head they look intact and successful ones would have it broken off. I do wonder why so many...

This may help:

“The parts which we have just mentioned and which are the most visible in the body of the drones, are not those that emerge first out of the body, nor those that are most remarkable, outside of the body. If we consider the tube k, or the sac which begins at the posterior end of the lentil which separates the two scaly plates, we can easily see the part, u, which we have named the arch; one may see five wooly bands disposed crosswise, they are of tawny color, while the rest is white. This arch even seems to be outside of the membranous tube, for it is covered only by a very transparent membrane; at one end it almost touches the lenticular body while at the other it terminates where the membranous canal joins the membranes m, which are wrinkled and yellowish, making a sort of sac resting upon the edges of the opening from which the generative organs are to issue. The tawny-colored membranes mentioned are those which pressure forces out first, they form the elongated mass the end of which resembles a woolly mask. Lastly, this sac, composed of tawny membranes, holds two appendices c c, of reddish yellow color, even red to the tip; and these are the appendices which project to the outside in the shape of horns.

“When we press the belly of a drone gradually, with care, we cause other parts also to be ejected; these parts show themselves on the opposite side from their position in the body. The surface of these parts, which was the inside, becomes the outside; the same thing happens to them as to a stocking which is drawn inside out. If the opening of the stocking which we try to turn inside out was fixed upon a hoop, and if we began to evert it by beginning at the part nearest the opening, so that the heel and toe came last, we would have in this eversion of the stocking an exact illustration of the manner in which the organs of the male bee are turned to project outside.

“When we know the position of these parts in the interior of the body, it is easy to figure the order in which they must appear at their ejection. The tawny sac, which is nearest the opening, appears first and as a portion of it’s interior part is woolly, it provides the woolly mask. The base of the horns then show them-selves; the arch next. When the arch is entirely extruded, it is necessary to increase the pressure to bring out the other parts; for it is through the end of this arch that the lenticular body passes which then assumes a very lengthened appearance. In spit of this, it is easily recognized, and it is evident that it has been everted inside out, since we see, upon one of its sides, the scaly plates already described, and that the side on which they are seen is concave, while when in the body of the drone it is convex.”
--Réaumur, Ninth Memoir upon Bees, quarto edition, page 489
 

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I agree with Beemandan, and once she mates, thats it!
 

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Im with Michael on this one - the drones didnt get lucky - they were pressed on and killed - if they had gotten lucky the part that you see sticking out of the drones would be attacked to a mating queen -

but good pictures - and good shots showing the male reproductive parts
 
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