The Drone reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Drone

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Drones are male honeybeess. They are produced from unfertilized eggs (by parthenogenesis). They 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.

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. Although heavy bodied, drones have to be able to fly fast enough to catch up with the queen in flight. Should a drone succeed in mating it will soon die because the reproductive organ and associated abdominal tissues are ripped from the drone's body immediately after copulation occurs.


A drone is also a member of the Drones Club in the P.G.Wodehouse books, named for the fact that drones in a hive do little work.


A drone is also a term used to refer to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, often used for target practice.


In music, a drone is a continuous note or chord sounded throughout much or all of the performance of a piece, and establishing an underlying tonality upon which the rest of the piece is built. Similarly, a drone is the name of a part of a musical instrument intended to produce such a sustained tone (generally without the ongoing attention of the player). A sitar features three or four resonating drone strings and Indian sargam is practiced to a drone. Bagpipes (particularly the scottish Great Highland Bagpipe) feature a number of drone pipes, giving the instrument its characteristic "skirl". The first string on a five-string bluegrass banjo is a drone string with a seperate tuning peg that places the end of the string five frets down the neck of the instrument; this string is usually tuned to the same note as the fifth string produces when played at the fifth fret, and the drone string is seldom fretted when playing bluegrass. Musicians who make prominent use of drones include La Monte Young and David First. See also: pedal tone


The second episode of the fifth season of is entitled Drone.

See also