Chattanooga Now Naturalist Note: Why honeybees explode during sex

Chattanooga Now Naturalist Note: Why honeybees explode during sex

March 1st, 2019 by Sunny Montgomery in Get Out - Features

A honeybee approaches a flower.

I'm reading a book called "Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation."

Now, before you make assumptions, the book is not R-rated.

It's X-rated.

Each chapter (with titles such as "Let Slip the Whores of War!" and "The Evolution of Depravity"), explores nature's most bizarre love-making rituals.

Take the honeybee for example. Before starting a nest, a young queen takes to the sky, where she mates in midair. Upon climax, the male bee explodes, "his genitals ripped from his body with a loud snap," writes author Olivia Judson. His goal is to lodge his privates in the queen's body, preventing her from mating with others and ensuring he fertilizes more of her eggs.

Still, it begs the question: Why is nature so weird?!

The answer is simple: Genetic survival.

All living organisms are driven by an inherent need to leave a legacy. To meet that need, some species have just evolved stranger tricks than others.

You want another example, don't you?

Lucky for you, this month's issue features Myron Madden's "It's a Jungle Out There," in which he interviews local zookeepers to learn more about the salacious side of animal behavior.

But we didn't devote our entire spring issue to this one subject.

We also bring you writer Emily Crisman's look at the outdoor industry's top trends for 2019, which include a focus on products made using sustainable materials and socially responsible practices.

Indeed, it's about time we focus as much energy on the environment as we do on sex. While the fertilization of honeybee eggs is a noble legacy, the betterment of the planet is one that I, personally, can get behind. (Pun intended.)

Sunny Montgomery

Get Out Digital Editor

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