Saturday, January 14, 2012

Painting ants; killer hornets

How to paint an ant to mark it for scientific study. (I can't believe they survive the process.) Via.

Watch 30 Japanese Giant Hornets kill 30,000 European Honey Bees. It's the most lethal animal (to humans) in Japan. Wikipedia says:

In Japan, beekeepers often prefer European honey bees because they are more productive than the endemic Japanese honey bees. However, it is quite difficult to maintain a captive hive of European honey bees, as the hornets will often prey on the bees.
Once a Japanese giant hornet has located a hive of European honey bees it leaves pheromone markers around it, that within a short time attract nest mates that quickly converge on the hive. A single hornet can kill forty European honey bees in a minute and a group of 30 hornets can finish off an entire hive containing 30,000 bees in a little more than three hours. The hornets not only kill the bees, but also dismember them, leaving heads and limbs behind, to finally return to their nest with the bee thoraxes which they feed to their larvae. The hornets also gorge themselves on the bees' honey.
The Japanese honey bee, on the other hand, has a defense against attacks of this manner. When a hornet approaches the hive to release pheromones, the bee workers emerge from their hive in an angry cloud-formation with some 500 individuals. As they form a tight ball around the hornet, the ball increases in heat to 47 °C (117 °F) from their vibrating wings, forming a convection oven as the heat released by the bees' bodies is spread over the hornets. Because bees can survive higher temperatures (48 to 50 °C (118 to 122 °F)) than the hornet (44 to 46 °C (111 to 115 °F)), the latter dies.
Via these sites.