The antipredatory responses of Himalayan Apis cerana fall clearly into two distinct categories, which we term fight or flee strategies. The fight strategy is characterised by active physical defence, such as gaster‐flagging associated with wing shimmering against Vespa velutina and V. tropica. The flee strategy against V. magnifica is characterised by lack of motion and then abandonment of the nest site. Survival of A. cerana in natural habitats against vespine wasps depends on the fight or flee instinct. A. cerana behaviourally has more nest defending tactics against vespine wasps than A. mellifera.