LOL! We LOVE Simply Pets Magazine's Founder Lisa Smith Putnam, so we couldn't resist sharing this one as a "love ya" ! She, well let's just say Bees are not on her favorite list:)! Don't get us wrong, she loves BEES for what the provide to us and Mother Earth, but not so much in her house or car...yipes!) We could resist teasing her with this article...it is out of LOVE we assure you! She encourages us to have fun while we work. Yes! We are having fun! And to be honest...these guys are huge! We would be a little scared ourselves.
Asian giant hornets are the world's largest hornet, growing to 2 inches in length with a wingspan of 3 inches. Their potent venom contains both a tissue destroying cytolytic peptide as well as a neurotoxin. They can fly at speeds up to 25 mph. About fifty stings is enough to kill an adult (non-allergic) human, and each year hundreds of people die from Asian giant hornet stings.
The giant hornets prey on other insects, and a few dozen giant hornets can kill off a hive of 30,000 honey bees within hours. Imported European honeybees are defenseless against the hornets; the bees sting is unable to penetrate the hornet's exoskeleton. The hornets simply bites the bees in half one by one until they wipe out the entire hive. See video below:
However, native Japanese honeybees have developed a defense. When one honeybee detects a hornet, she releases a pheromone commanding hundreds of her compatriots to form a ball around the hornet. They vigorously vibrate their flight muscles to heat the inside of the ball to 115 deg F. Their exertion also raises the carbon dioxide concentration inside the ball. The bees can tolerate heat at that carbon dioxide level up to 122 deg F, but hornets cannot. So the bees carefully regulate the temperature inside the ball so that it roasts the hornet but not themselves. It can take an hour inside the bee ball before the hornet is fully cooked and dead.
Video of Japanese honeybees cooking Asian giant hornet below.