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 November 27, 2014 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 November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Classic Hollywood Memorabilia Goes Under the Hammer

Reuters - Entertainment Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) The iconic piano from "Casablanca" and the Cowardly Lion suit from "The Wizard of Oz" fetch millions at auction. Sara Hemrajani reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Feast Your Eyes: Lamb Chop Sent Into Space from UK

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 25, 2014) Take a stab at this -- stunt video shows a lamb chop's journey from an east London restaurant over 30 kilometers into space. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
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