If you thought you’ve heard it all, get a load of this: bees pleasure themselves into non-existence if it gets too hot outside. A recent Canadian heatwave revealed that male honeybees ejaculate to the point that they die. The question is whether such a climactic departure qualifies as a happy ending.
A Love Explosion
The study referenced above was conducted by academicians at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Alison McAfee, the author of the study, states that drone bees that pass away from heat shock spontaneously ejaculate. McAfee is also a postdoctoral fellow at the university’s Michael Smith Laboratories. She has spent much of her career studying bee health.
The bees in question were analyzed during Western Canada’s blazing hot summer of 2021. McAfee studied the data documented by Emily Huxter, a beekeeper living in a rural area of Okanagan Valley. Huxter found dozens of dead bees in the grass during the summer. She sent pictures of the dead bees to McAfee and the study commenced.
It turns out several other beekeepers throughout Western Canada, and beyond, also noticed the same odd phenomenon. The worry is that the planet’s ever-increasing temperatures will threaten the survival of bee colonies.
Bee Temperature Control
The pattern of bee suicide-by-ejaculation, is especially worrisome considering the insects have a complex temperature control system. Thermoregulation makes it easy for a bee nest to keep its temperature stable at or below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The problem is a rapid spike in temperature can move temperatures into the triple digits, making bees’ temperature control system ineffective.
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The study results reveal that six hours of exposure to temperatures in excess of 107 degrees Fahrenheit causes half of bee drones to pass away through excessive ejaculation stemming from heat stress. In fact, some of the particularly sensitive bees begin to die merely a couple hours after the temperature hits 107 degrees Fahrenheit.