Drone bees are male bees that are responsible for the reproductive function of the hive. They are produced from unfertilized eggs, which means they do not have a mother. Drone bees are larger than worker bees and do not have stingers.
The primary role of drone bees is to mate with queen bees from other hives. Drone bees are attracted to queen bees that are releasing pheromones, and they will fly long distances to find a queen to mate with. Once a drone bee has successfully mated with a queen, it dies shortly afterwards.
In addition to mating, drone bees also help to regulate the temperature and humidity of the hive. They are known to cluster together and fan their wings to help cool the hive during hot weather. They also release water vapor through their bodies to help increase the humidity in the hive when it is too dry.
While drone bees do not contribute to the day-to-day tasks of the hive, such as foraging for food or building comb, they are an important part of the reproductive cycle of the hive. Without drone bees, the hive would not be able to produce new queens or reproduce, which is essential for the survival of the colony.