Monday, 15 September 2014

The Party's Over, Boys!

Sad news for the honey bee drones. The party is over!

On average, you chaps lived about twice as long as your sisters. You didn't have to work at all for your food, while your sisters worked their wings to a fray to feed the colony. You could enter any hive with impunity while the girls would be driven off if they tried to visit any hive but their own. Your sisters fed you and cleaned up after you and protected you (you don't even have a stinger) and kept you warm. Until now! The days are getting shorter and colder and forage is drying up. Your genetic material is no longer needed this year. Your brothers who did manage to donate to the gene pool have already died upon completion of their duty. You remaining batchelor guys are now simply a liability. You must go! Yes, all of you!

Murdered honey bee drones. Some were pulled, unborn, from their cells.

Rest in peace little guy. Hope you enjoyed your privileged life.

Don't envy your sisters, lads. They must toil on. They are searching out remaining blossoms before the frost comes and puts an end to the harvest. Many will be slaughtered by spiders and ambush bugs and birds. They are rearranging their storage and are bravely defending their precious food supply against marauders. A long cold winter awaits and there will be many who will not survive.

Ahead, hard months face the girls. And if they succeed in pulling the colony through the winter, they will pamper your grandsons and grandnephews next summer! Until the days once again shorten. And the boys will feel a sister's antenna tap them on the thorax. Which will proclaim, "Sorry lads, the party is over."

The bee at left is hauling in plant resin to seal out winter drafts.

White field asters are one of the last flowers to bloom.

Some goldenrod blooms are still open for business.

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