Turning Up the Heat

Left: Tethered Asian Hornet
Right: Japanese Bees Form Heat Ball Around Hornet
Image: Ugajin & Colleagues*

Japanese honeybees, Apis cerana japonica, can be attacked by Asian Hornets that raid hives to prey on larvae and pupae. The Asian Hornet has a rigid cuticle that is not penetrated by bee stingers. How is a bee to defend against this threat?

Japanese bees will swarm a hornet and form an attack ball. The bees beat their wing muscles to generate heat. The temperature inside the ball quickly…

Source: Living With Insects Blog

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