Male Reproductive Anatomy
The reproductive anatomy of the drone honey bee is illustrated below.
Scientific Beekeeping
Genetics Glossary
Femle Reproductive Anatomy
Mating in the Honey Bee
Lateral View of the Abdomen of the Drone Honey Bee
Ventral View of the Abdomen of the Drone Honey Bee
Nosema ceranae, Fipronil and their combination compromise honey bee reproduction via changes in male physiology. Kairo et al 2017
Mucus is produced only once the drone has emerged. Drones take a minimum of twelve days for their spermatoza to mature. Each drone carries 11,000,000 sperm. They may go on short orientation flights before this time lasting about 15 minutes.

Before leaving on a mating flight the drones are very particular about cleaning their eyes and antennae, to have the best chance of spotting a virgin queen first. Mating flights vary in length from 30 mins to one hour. A drone may go on more than one flight per day.