Science Bees Use A Giant Bee-Ball To Literally Cook An Invading Wasp

Published on May 30th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


Bees Use A Giant Bee-Ball To Literally Cook An Invading Wasp [Video]

Bees Use A Giant Bee-Ball To Literally Cook An Invading Wasp

It’s bad enough that we have zombies showing up in Miami and going on dating sites but let’s really hope that these Japanese bees don’t decide to cross the Pacific and think we are invading their hives.

Seriously though these Japanese bees have evolved to have a unique method of protecting their hives from other flying insects like wasps.

It’s call a bee-ball and it is a method whereby the bees surround an enemy wasp and then by them all vibrating their flight muscles they raise the internal temperature of the ball high enough to cook their enemy.

While this defensive method has been known by researchers for sometime those at the University of Tokyo believe that the bees may actually be using their brains to act collectively in order to kill any threat to the hive.

The research team, whose latest research on the phenomenon appeared in the scientific journal PLoS ONE in mid-March, was astounded by the fact that the collective heat generated by the group, while fatal for the hornet, leaves the bees unaffected.

They were also surprised that the bees used perfectly coordinated teamwork during the process, said Takeo Kubo, a professor at the University of Tokyo graduate school.

“When an outsider enters, the honeybees are immediately on their guard. Then, all at once, they gather to attack,” he said.

“So, it isn’t one commanding all the rest, we believe in this moment of emergency they’re acting collectively.”

via Telegraph

Here’s a video of this bee-ball in action.

via Geekologie



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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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