The Appliance of Science: How Does Apis cerana Defend Itself Against Hornets?

publication date: Mar 1, 2014
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Bee World  Vol. 90 (3) 2013 pp. 64-65
Article Title The Appliance of Science: How Does Apis cerana Defend Itself Against Hornets?
Author(s)

Norman Carreck

Abstract The honey bee Apis cerana is native and widespread through south and south east Asia where amongst other trials, it endures predation by a range of tropical hornet species including Vespa affinis, V. mandarinia, V. tropica and V. velutina. The hunting techniques of the different hornet species differ, and elicit different reactions from the bees. A. cerana have previously been observed defending themselves from hornets by “shaking” or “shimmering” (where the outer layer or “mantle” of bees shake which makes a “whooshing” sound), “heat ball-ing” (clustering around the predator and heating them to a temperature of 47°C which proves lethal to the hornet but not to the bees) and “protean flight” which is an evasive zig-zagging flight of worker bees returning to their colonies under attack (Martin, 1994).
Keywords Science, Hornets, Apis cerana
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