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'Murdersquishing' Them To Death: How Little Bees Take On Enormous Hornets

'Murdersquishing' Them To Death: How Little Bees Take On Enormous Hornets : Krulwich Wonders... : NPR

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... this story has a happy ending.

Hornets From Hell

Japanese giant hornets have large yellow heads, enormous eyes, and they eat bees. "Eat" is too polite. They grab European honeybees, rip off their heads, tear off limbs, throw those parts away and take the big, juicy middle piece (the thorax) back to their kids (the larvae). They are unstoppable. A single hornet, you are about to learn, can kill 40 European honeybees a minute.

European bees, being new to Japan (brought in by cultivators), have evolved no defenses. They haven't had time. But there's a second group of bees — the locals, the Japanese honeybees — who have found a way. It's precise, orchestral and deadly.

How Bees Fight Back

The Oatmeal bees Japanese imgur

Yes, nature is neat. How do they raise the temperature of the ball?

Japanese honeybees Oatmel bee ball meme imgur


I wonder how they learn that. Or is it just instinct?

At the insect level I lean toward instinct.  

"Insect" is very close to "instinct" come to think of it. 

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