Drone Bees Lesson for Kids: Lifespan & Job

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Did you know that there are actually several different kinds of bees in every beehive? In this lesson, you'll learn about the life of a drone bee and what drone bees contribute to the hive.

What's a Drone Bee?

How'd you like to live your whole life just sitting around, letting other people do all the work? That's basically what a drone bee does!

Drones are all males, and they're one type of bee in a beehive. The other bees in the hive are worker bees, and there's one queen bee; these are all females. Although it's usually the queen that lays the eggs, both the queen bee and the worker bees can lay eggs that become drone bees.

How Do Drones Grow?

In a beehive, there are different sized cells, or little rooms. If you look at a piece of honeycomb from a beehive, you can see these cells.

Honeycomb
comb

The queen bee lays one egg in each cell. If it's a large cell, she'll lay a drone bee egg there. Drone cells are longer and larger than other cells.

Once the eggs are laid, the worker bees will feed the eggs royal jelly for the first few days. This gives them the nourishment they need to start growing. Royal jelly is made by the bodies of the worker bees.

After this, the worker bees feed the drones bee bread, which is made of pollen and honey. It takes about 24-25 days for a drone bee egg to develop enough so that it's ready to hatch.

This Is the Life!

After the drones hatch, they don't do much. They don't have to work like the worker bees. Drones don't go out from the hive to collect pollen, and they don't help build new cells in the hive. The drones just hang around, waiting, and eating honey in the hive. Scientists think drones might help provide heat for the hive, and they might have other purposes that aren't yet understood. Unlike other bees, drones don't even have stingers!

Drone
drone bee

What are the drones waiting for? When the time is right, the drones will leave the nest to look for a queen bee to mate with. The drones all hang out together, watching for a queen bee to fly by. It's important that the drones don't mate with the queen from their own hive; in this way, they bring genetic diversity to the bee population.

Genetic diversity has to do with genes. Your genes make you who you are. You get some of your genes from your father and some from your mother. Some genes might give you blue eyes, while others make you tall or short. In order to be healthy, bees in a hive have to have genes from different bees.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support