Considering that when a bee stings it loses its stinger and dies, this is similar to the male drone losing its penis and dying after copulation. It also seems similar that each event basically rips the abdomen open. Are the two structures a homologous pair?

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    $\begingroup$ Not sure why the downvotes. Is this question off topic here? $\endgroup$
    – Octopus
    Sep 13, 2016 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't downvote it myself, rather I think this is already a good-question, but if properly edited it will be more clear. Are you sure, male-bee's copulation organs called 'penis'? (I don't know). If you know better anatomical terms you could use that. $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Sep 13, 2016 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ Sting and stinger- same thing? Worker bees (modified females) contain sting surely. But does 'female' bees of popular use, i.e queen bees, contain sting? $\endgroup$
    – user25568
    Sep 13, 2016 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ Shouldn't be off topic. It actually is a very interesting question. +1 @AlwaysConfused: Of course it's a penis ... what else should it be? $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2016 at 17:06
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    $\begingroup$ @AlwaysConfused biology.stackexchange.com/q/45465/16433 $\endgroup$
    – R.M.
    Sep 13, 2016 at 17:27

1 Answer 1


After a little bit of digging I was able to find a couple of facts that seem to verify that the drone bee's penis is in fact homologous to the worker bee's stinger:

This Wikipedia article about the stinger that says a honey bee's stinger is "a modified ovipositor as in other stinging Hymenoptera".

This book (actually about soil arthropods) states very specifically that, "The ovipositor, with which the female lays her eggs, is homologous to the male's penis.".

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    $\begingroup$ That is the very best explanation for why male bees do not have stingers (which I have been asking myself on several occasions). Thanks! $\endgroup$ Sep 13, 2016 at 17:07

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