Hornets Get Hugged to Death

smithsonian.com
Cyprian honeybees ball up around invading Oriental hornets until the visitor can no longer breath. According to new research published in Current Biology, the recently discovered strategy, called "asphyxia balling," is one of many full-contact tortures employed by bees. Asian honeybees use a "thermo-balling" strategy. They surround hornets and vibrate their bellies against the hornets abdomen until the invader overheats--a swarming, touchy-feely response that doesn't exactly say "happy to see you."

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus