Posts from June 2nd, 2009

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

My New Favorite Animal Attack: THE BEE BALL!

Japanese Honey Bees (Apis cerana japonica) are completely, %100 awexome. How awexome? Check this out:

When a Giant Asian Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) menaces one of their hives, they purposefully leave an opening in the nest to draw in the hornet. That’s right — they set a trap! But when the hornet actually goes in is when it gets completely awexome.

Immediately up to 500 honey bees swarm the giant wasp and surround it in a super-tightly-packed ball of bees. The BEE BALL!

beeball

The ball is so tightly packed that the hornet can’t even move. Then all the bees start vibrating their flight muscles, and the friction and energy expended actually raises the temperature in the core of the ball to 117°F (47°C). Giant Asian Hornets can’t survive temperatures above 115°F (46°C). That’s right: THE BEE BALL COOKS THE WASPS TO DEATH.

By killing the hornet this way, the honey bees prevent it from going home and returning with reinforcements.

bees cook hornetThis one’s a goner!

So, yeah, I’m really into the Bee Ball now. I’ve only been into it for, like, a couple of hours, but I’m REALLY into it. It’s, like, the coolest thing. I got stung in the back of the neck by a yellowjacket over the weekend, which really sucked. If I’d known about the Bee Ball defense, I’m sure I would have whupped that yellowjacket with my Bee Ball before it got me.

More reading on the awexomeness of the Bee Ball:
http://uglyoverload.blogspot.com/2008/10/bee-ball.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apis_cerana_japonica

Categories: Links, Pictures, Science.