The male bees, called “drones”, are 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. Their abdomen is stouter than the abdomen of workers or queen. Although heavy bodied, drones have to be able to fly fast enough to catch up with the queen in flight. Drones are stingless.
Their main function in the hive is to be ready to fertilize a receptive queen. Mating occurs in flight, which accounts for the need of the drones for better vision, which is provided by their big eyes.
In areas with severe winters, all drones are then driven out of the hive. The life expectancy of a drone is about 90 days.