Friday, March 16, 2012

Hot defensive bee ball: Bees can overwhelm inch-long hornets by COOKING them inside huge ball of bodies

Honey bees should have no chance at all against the ferocious Japanese hornet - the predators are an inch long, and watching the two battle is like watching infantry racing hopelessly towards a tank.

But the tiny creatures can actually triumph - by swarming over their foes in such numbers that hornets are 'cooked' inside a ball of bees.

The defence mechanism is known as a 'hot defensive bee ball'.

When hornets attack, they kill all the worker bees, before 'looting' a nest for larvae and food. So the bees developed the defence mechanism to stop the predators.

The bees swarm over the hornets in groups of up to 500, and start vibrating their wings until the temperature reaches 47 degrees centigrade. The heat is fatal for the hornets. Read More