René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur, 1683 – 1757. Réaumur’s observations and reflections on bees became quite popular among natural historians and beekeepers in the mid-eighteenth century.
Réaumur affirmed that under normal conditions there is only one queen in a hive, laying from thirty to fifty thousand eggs every year, and he called her the “Mere de tout son Peuple’. He considered drones to be males, counted from six to seven hundred in a single hive, and related the numbers obtained to different seasonal periods. He also noticed that drones did not work, stating that their only function was to fertilize the queen, and that the great majority of the population were working bees. Like Swammerdam, he believed that the queen laid three different kinds of eggs in the three different kinds of cells and that, in so doing, she was never mistaken.