When Do Drones Die?
Drones die off or are ejected from the hive by the worker bees in late autumn, and do not reappear in the bee hive until late spring. An Apis cerana or the Asiatic honey bee colony has about 200 drones during high summer peak time.
The male, bee, or drone, dies when there is no more nectar available from the fields. The reason for this is that, when the worker bees can no longer collect nectar for the hive, the production of honey stops.
Deprived of their food the drones rapidly grow weak and are carried from the hive by the workers to die. The drone takes 24 days to develop from the egg to a fully grown male and may live as an adult for several months. Its only function in the bee’s community is as a potential mate for the queen.
A drone is characterized by eyes that are twice the size of those of worker bees and queens, and a body size greater than that of worker bees, though usually smaller than the queen bee.
His abdomen is stouter than the abdomen of workers or queen. Although heavy bodied, the drone must be able to fly fast enough to accompany the queen in flight.