White eyed drones are victims of a their genes. As we know, drones come from unfertilised eggs and as such they have only one set of chromosomes so all their genetic defects or mutations are expressed and some of them are out there for all to see – like white eyes.
His sisters have two sets of chromosomes – one from their father and one from their mother – mutations tend to be recessive and are masked by the dominant allele on the other chromosome.
This is a clever mechanism for wiping the genes clean so defects like this don’t get passed on. White eyed drones are thought to be blind so their chances of finding and mating with a queen are slim – but sometimes chance and lady luck conspire…
This drone has only one white eye so he’s not completely blind and perhaps he’s not so helpless!
If he were to stumble on a tired or confused queen or if she were to pass by his good eye he might get lucky and we might find white eyed workers. Like this one:
Lovely brood pattern – nothing suggest inbreeding there.
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