A virgin queen will leave the hive once in her life after hatching to go on a mating flight. She'll seek out a drone yard where drones, male bees, will congregate anywhere from 30-300' above the ground and possibly miles from her hive. Once there, she'll mate with as many as ten males. After mating, the drone will pull away tearing off his sex organs including sperm sacks and leave them behind in her body. He will then fall to the ground and die. (In the bee world there's no such thing as friends with benefits. There are some serious strings attached. Pun game strong. Bumble really should reconsider its marketing image) Successive males mating with the queen will remove the previous male's organs before inserting their own. The volume of mates promises enough variety of genetic material to guard against inbreeding and poor genetic traits. She'll then return to the hive and remain there for the rest of her life. The flight to and from the drone yard is one of the greater dangers the queen faces as she is subject to predation by birds. It ain't easy being a bee!
#beekeeping #beehive #honeybees #beekeeper #apiculture #apicultura #nature #birdsandthebees #spring #getbusy #longlivethequeen