by BD Mitchell
One hundred facts that are interesting but ultimately useless.
Ball o' Bees
- biology -
The Japanese honeybee (Apis cerana japonica) has an unusual tactic for dealing with predatory hornets that invade their hive. Stingers are less effective against an opponent with an exoskeleton, so the honeybees will instead swarm and envelope the intruder in a "bee ball". By vibrating their muscles at high frequency, the bees cause a rapid spike in temperature (45° C / 113° F) and a massive increase in carbon dioxide levels. The combined heat and CO2 concentration will typically kill the hornet within five minutes.