The Drone Honey Bee

The Development of the Drone Honey Bees: The Parthenogenesis

Author(s): Lovleen Marwaha *

Pp: 28-52 (25)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815179309123010005

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The drone honey bee develops from unfertilized or fertilized eggs depending on the homozygosity of the sex alleles in inherited genomic content. In the honey bee colony, if the polyandrous queen honey bee mates with the drone honey bees of the neighbouring colonies, then the drones develop from the unfertilized eggs, confirming the haploid parthenogenesis. However, the mating of the queen with the drones of the same colony accelerates the feasibility of the development of drones, even from fertilized eggs. In the above-mentioned former case, the drones are known as the haploid drones, whereas in the latter case, the drones are referred to as the diploid drones. Generally, the diploid drones are removed by worker honey bees by recognizing the pheromones coated on the egg surface. The worker honey bees can remarkably distinguish the queen's drone eggs and the workers acting as pseudo-queens’ drone eggs. The pseudo-queen develops if the colony is queen-less or the queen is not carrying the required reproductive potential and pheromonal emission. Drone development takes 24-25 days in total, with four distinct phases: egg, larval, pupal, and adult, with durations of 3 days, six days, 15-16 days, and about 1-3 months, respectively. The present chapter is attributed to the drone honey bees' developmental synchronicity, haploid inheritance, parthenogenesis, and patrilineal genomic contribution to the colony that influences colonial behaviour, productivity, life span, immunity, and others.

Keywords: Drone honey bee, Ecdysis, Holometabolous, Haploid partheno-genesis

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