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Why Do Male Honey Bees Try To Blind Their Queen after Sex? But Why?

Why do male honey bees try to blind their Queen after Sex? But Why?

If you are a person that considers bees to be noisy, then you might want to keep in mind that they flap their wings over 11,400 a minute! Even though bees seem relatively simple, they are quite fascinating creatures. For instance, the toxins in a bee sting may prevent HIV. Some studies claim that bee, 'brains age in reverse. Moreover, upon changing tasks, bees change their brain chemistry in response. Also, honey contains an antioxidant that improves brain functions.

One of the other interesting facts about these intriguing insects is that the male bees try to temporarily blind the queen. This article will cover why male bees, drones, behave as such.

Mating  Behaviour

A Queen bee mates with several drones in mid-air, usually the count reaches up to 40. She goes on for mating for days even after a capable drone has inseminated her. According to scientists, drone bees blind the queen bee with the toxic semen at the time of mating. Like every other species in the world, bees mate to on with their reproduction.

There is a hardcore reason behind this unusual behavior of the male bees. It stops the Queen bee from mating with the other drones and also ensures that their genes are present in the offspring. This blinding stays for about 24 to 48 hours. This stops the bee from flying, which in turn ensures that she doesn't easily mate with any other drone.

Reason Why Bees Go Blind

Boris Baer, the lead author of this study, put forward the reason behind bees going blind. The drones want their genes to be present in the next set of offsprings. So they blind the queen bee as they would not be able to fly without eyesight.

Even if this appears drastic, the fate of the drone ends here. But this doesn't stop nearly 40 drones from mating with the Queen in mid-air, calling it a 'nuptial flight'. Death happens due to the force applied on the endophallus (the part that enters the queen) at the time of mating. The fierce intercourse causes the endophallus to rupture.

It breaks off from their bodies, leaving a tip inside. The bodily fluid slows her down, giving enough time for a single bee's genes to prevail. The toxic used by the drones to temporarily blind the bee is the only chemical produced to increase his chances of being reproductive. It also has a protein that attacks other drones. The toxic used to blind the queen bee much likely results in her getting lost on her way back to the hive.

Researchers conducted an experiment to test the potency of bee-semen. They injected bee-semen into the first group of queen bees and a saline solution to the other. The first group of queen bees hardly returned back home. Moreso, the electrodes attached to their brain showed that they had lost photo sensation.


The Queen's mating behaviour results in the hive's liveliness and longevity. The Queen bee collects nearly 6 million sperm in her, keeping them fresh for as long as 7 years. She returns to the hive forever after the mating flight, and after a few days, she lays up to 2,000 eggs at a time.

The Queen bee gives birth to nearly 1.7 million baby bees in her lifetime. Many of these bees also get a chance to date a queen. They also give their lives to cause an impression and to be a king for a day.

This puts an end to the bizarre behavior of the honey-bees. I hope this article adds to the list of your 'weird facts about the animal kingdom' and quenches your curiosity about the bees.

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