A study by Heather Matilla, a professor at the College of Wales, shows that bees use animal larvae to prevent giant horns from invading colonies, a behavior first reported by scientists.
First time honey bees (Price list:) have been documented through tools to protect their colonies in Asia, particularly animal manure. This phenomenon is at the center of a new study by Heather Matilla դ, an associate professor of biological sciences at Walesley College, whose findings were recently published in the journal. PLOS ONE:,
The Matila ատ international team of researchers found that to protect themselves from the attacks of the giant horn (Vespa soror), which can wipe out entire colonies, honey bees feed on animal feces, placing their spots around the entrances to their nests. The giant horns were pushed back through the dirt-covered entrances, limiting their ability to carry out deadly group attacks.
Detection of feces, trick as a protective tool, this unique use. Behavior that has never been seen before by honey bees is a response to the overwhelming honey bees in the face of huge horns.
“Not only have we documented the first example of honey bees using tools in the wild,” said Matila, “but the act of feeding the feces is itself another honey bee.” Honey bees regularly feed on plant-based materials (such as nectar, pollen, and resin), but it has not been known in the past that solids are collected from any other source. They sometimes collect fluids from animal waste, which can provide them with the necessary salts, but this is the first time they have seen them collect solid logs, take them home by mouth, and apply them at the entrance to their nests.
“Many scientists disagree on whether some animals, especially insects, use tools,” said Gard W., a professor of environmental science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Otis մեկը One of the co-authors of Matila. “In order to qualify as a tool, animals must meet several criteria, including the use of an object from the environment, in this case, poop. Bees clearly use the material to purposefully change the hive, in addition to the requirements of holding or manipulating the hive.
For more than seven years, Matilla և and her fellow researchers have been studying the interaction of giant horned Asian honey bees in Vietnam. They conducted their field work in the beehives of the colonies, which are run by local beekeepers and housed in wooden hives. When they confirmed that Asian honey bees were collecting animal dung, the team began their experiments by clearing the hive front and then tracking down how bees build their defenses by detecting feces in response to giant horn attacks. They also showed that Asian honey bees do not use these animals to protect themselves against smaller, less deadly horn species.
Matilla found that the bees’ behavior reduced the severity of the attacks by pushing the giant horns back from the nest entrances, where they concentrated their attacks. “We found that horns fell less on entrances or chewed on hives when there was more dirt around the entrances,” said Matila. “Although additional research is needed to determine the properties of animal feces repelled by horns, the barrier created by bees is an effective protection against their attacks – a type of chemical weapon. The interesting thing is that the bees themselves do not repel animal feces. ”
This research has implications beyond Vietnam. Recently, a giant horn-like species known as “murder horns” (Vespa mandarinia:Intentionally introduced to North America ունի has a potential population in Washington: British Columbia.
In North America, bee hives already pose a number of threats, including malnutrition, pesticides, pathogens, and habitat loss. Adding a deadly predator to a lettuce can be devastating. Matilla says North American honey bees do not have the impressive defenses that Asian honey bees have developed to avoid giant horns, making them easy targets. “Our study shows how much honey bees need to protect themselves from their giant horns. “If the giant hornets are established in North America, the threats of honey bees will intensify,” he said.
For more information on this study, read Honey Bees Use Animal Plumb to protect giant Murder horns.
Reference. “Honey bees (Price list:use animal islands as colonies as a means of defending colonies against group attack by giant horns (Vespa soror:) »Author: Heather R. Mattila, Gard W. Otis, Lien TP Nguyen, Hanh D. Pham, Olivia M. Knight and Ngoc T. Phan, December 9, 2020, PLOS ONE:,
DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0242668:
Funding for this work was provided by the National Geographic Society և Research Committee, Vietnam Academy of Science և և և Ք Ք Ք Ք Ք ծրագրի Ք հետազոտ: Summer Research Program.
Matilla և’s colleagues are currently studying how Asian honey bees alert when giant horns attack using recordings from this study. Although international fieldwork is hampered by the epidemic, the team is sending horn specimens to partners around the world to learn more about how horns mark colonies for attack.