Drones are male bees that are present in a hive during the reproductive season. They do not have a stinger and do not perform any tasks within the hive. Their primary role is to mate with queens from other colonies.
When a hive is ready to reproduce, the queen will leave the hive and fly to a drone congregation area, where she will mate with several drones. After mating, the drones die, as their genitalia are torn off during the mating process.
Drones are not essential to the functioning of the hive, and they do not contribute to the day-to-day tasks of foraging, building and maintaining the hive, or caring for the young. They are produced only in the spring and summer and are driven out of the hive or die off in the fall when the hive’s population starts to decline.