Bees vs Hornets! It may sound like two hockey teams going head to head but this is actually an incredible battle served up by Mother Nature.
Beekeepers in Japan prefer to keep European honey bees over Japanese honey bees, as they are more productive.
The only problem is that hornets often prey on these bees. A Japanese giant hornet can kill 40 European honey bees in one minute and a group of 30 hornets can destroy an entire hive of 30,000 bees in just over three hours.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the honey bees, however, as they have a defensive tactic that is nothing short of incredible.
When a hornet locates a hive and is wanting to mark that area, the bees will retreat into the hive leaving a small opening for the hornet to enter.
The bees will then surprise the hornet with a group 500 strong. They surround the hornet in a ball and vibrate their wings, causing the interior temperature of the ball to rise beyond what the hornet can survive.
Temperatures inside this ball created by the bees can reach up to 47°C. It has been discovered that the hornets can actually survive at this temperature, however, the carbon dioxide concentrations inside the ball along with the increased temperature is what causes the hornet to die. This display is Mother Nature at her most brutal and it goes to show, gang mentality is definitely not unique to humans.