A drone is a male honey bee. Unlike the female worker bee, drones do not have stingers and gather neither nectar nor pollen. A drone's primary role is to mate with an unfertilized queen.
A drone is characterized by eyes that are twice the size of those of worker bees and queens, and a body size greater than that of worker bees, though usually smaller than the queen bee. His abdomen is stouter than the abdomen of workers or queen. Although heavy bodied, the drone must be able to fly fast enough to accompany the queen in flight. The average flight time for a drone is about 20 minutes.
An Apis cerana colony has about 200 drones during high summer peak time. Drones depend on worker bees to feed them.
Drones die off or are ejected from the hive by the worker bees in late autumn, and do not reappear in the bee hive until late spring. They would deplete the hive's resources too quickly if they were allowed to stay.