Vietnam’s honey bees have unleashed a stinging operation against those infamous wasps – by lining their nests with feces to ward off them, according to a report.
Researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario have made a brilliant discovery about the new bees’ use of animal waste.
Workers collected faeces in piles of manure throughout the study period; the researchers wrote in the study we published: ‘We also observed them looking for faeces in a nearby chicken coop.’ PLoS one, CNN reported.
They also noted that worker bees sometimes use soap scum, and in one case, humans urinate for the same purpose.
Researchers surveyed 72 beekeepers near the end of August, when killing wasp attacks were frequent.
Of these, five colonies kept only western honey bees – and these sentinels did not see feces on their hives, CNN reported, citing the study.
But for the rest of the beekeepers, who kept eastern honey bees, 63 of them reported having silver spots on the front of their hives.
Beekeepers had an average of 15 colonies per breeder – and breeders reported seeing feces on average 74 percent of their colonies, according to the report.
Feces appeared after raids by killer wasps, and researchers determined it was in response to the attacks. They found that colonies with a heavy to moderate amount of feces were less likely to be attacked.
“This study shows a rather fascinating trait,” lead author Heather Mattella said in a statement. “These bees must defend themselves against a truly terrible predator.”
Meanwhile, western honey bees – found in North America – are not as ready to kill as those in the east.
“They haven’t had the opportunity to develop the defenses,” Matila said. “It’s like getting into a cold war.”
Murder hornets, native to Asia, have a recent They find their way to North AmericaLast month, entomologists from the Washington State Department of Agriculture destroyed a nest they had found in October.
They discovered about 200 queens inside, each capable of producing their own nests.
State agriculture officials said the state’s first giant wasp was trapped in July, while several other wasps were captured across Whatcom County.