Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Japanese honeybees swarm huge hornet predator to kill it with heat

Date:
March 14, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Japanese honeybees face a formidable foe in the Asian giant hornet, a fierce predator that can reach 40mm long or larger, but the bees have developed a novel defense mechanism: they create a "hot defensive bee ball," swarming around the hornet and literally cooking it. Now, a new study uncovers some of the neural activity that underlies this unusual behavior, which is not practiced by the Japanese honeybee’s European relative.

Japanese honeybees face a formidable foe in the Asian giant hornet, a fierce predator that can reach 40mm long or larger, but the bees have developed a novel defense mechanism: they create a “hot defensive bee ball,” swarming around the hornet and literally cooking it.

Now, a new study published Mar. 14 in the open access journal PLoS ONE uncovers some of the neural activity that underlies this unusual behavior, which is not practiced by the Japanese honeybee’s European relative.

Related Articles


The researchers, including Takeo Kubo of the University of Tokyo and Masato Ono of Tamagawa University, actually sampled honeybees as they were engaged in a hot defensive bee ball, plucking them off the ball at different time points to investigate the brain function behind this unique adaptive behavior.

Using a novel marker gene to detect the neural activity evoked in the brains of the honeybees that form the bee ball, they found that neurons that make up the higher brain center are active while the bees are part of the hot ball. This neural activity differs from that seen in European honeybees.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Atsushi Ugajin, Taketoshi Kiya, Takekazu Kunieda, Masato Ono, Tadaharu Yoshida, Takeo Kubo. Detection of Neural Activity in the Brains of Japanese Honeybee Workers during the Formation of a “Hot Defensive Bee Ball”. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (3): e32902 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032902

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Japanese honeybees swarm huge hornet predator to kill it with heat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120314172306.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, March 14). Japanese honeybees swarm huge hornet predator to kill it with heat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120314172306.htm
Public Library of Science. "Japanese honeybees swarm huge hornet predator to kill it with heat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120314172306.htm (accessed March 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, March 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lions Make Surprise Comeback in Gabon

Lions Make Surprise Comeback in Gabon

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) Lions have made a comeback in southeast Gabon, after disappearing for years, according to live footage from US wildlife organisation Panthera. Duration: 00:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

New Arthropod Fossil Might Be Relative Of Spiders, Scorpions

Newsy (Mar. 29, 2015) A 508-million-year-old arthropod that swam in the Cambrian seas is thought to share a common ancestor with spiders and scorpions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

Vietnam Rice Boom Piles Pressure on Farmers and the Environment

AFP (Mar. 29, 2015) Vietnam&apos;s drive to become the world&apos;s leading rice exporter is pushing farmers in the fertile Mekong Delta to the brink, say experts, with mounting costs to the environment. Duration: 02:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

Raw: Lioness Has Rare Five-Cub Litter

AP (Mar. 27, 2015) A lioness in Pakistan has given birth to five cubs, twice the usual size of a litter. Queen gave birth to two other cubs just nine months ago. (March 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins