Thanks ya'll. I guess the title was a *little* "tongue-in-cheek". :)
I kept bees a several years ago, I've got a couple of colonies still hanging out in some old boxes. Honey bees are a macro-organism, in that it takes all of them to exist...with out one part of the colony it dies...without a queen, without workers, without drones...it will eventually die. Honey bees emerge from their cell begging for food...that is their introduction to the cold facts of life...soon they are working, and advance from one job to the next. Nobody tells them nor shows them what to do...some of the jobs are complex, others simple, some self-sacrificing. In the summer a worker bee may live only six weeks, working herself to death. *All* the workers are female, the males (drones) are only there for breeding...they breed, leave part of themselves in the queen and fall to the ground to die. The queen breeds only one time, maybe over a period of a couple of days but many times only on one day. She may breed with several drones. She has enough fertile eggs afterwards to lay hundreds of thousands of eggs for several years (she can live multiple years whereas the workers and drones usually don't live a year at the most). If the queen dies and a new queen hasn't been created then eventually some of the workers (females) may start laying eggs...the problem is that all of these eggs will be males/drones and the colony begins to dwindle (not enough workers) and all those ladies start getting more mean.
Eventually the colony dies. The drones are really bums...all they do is go to a spot maybe a mile or so away and hang out all day waiting for a virgin queen to fly up so they can breed with her....it's like a ball of bees chasing one single bee. Interestingly, these areas are known to the bees...they're called a "Drone Congregation Area". A virgin queen that has just left the hive for her once-in-a-lifetime breeding flight knows where to go....very mysterious, eh?
When the queen comes back from breeding she never leaves the hive again, rather than flying she if the "runner" of the hive...traveling over the combs continuously laying eggs in the warm months and huddled within the cluster of bees in the cold of winter enjoying the warmth from "heater bees". Only if a swarm happens will she ever leave...another story.