Honeybees have learnt to guard themselves against Giant Hornets using a secret weapon. And yes, its Poop! Asian Giant Hornets, commonly known as murder hornets, can wipe out entire hives of honeybees within a matter of hours
A study published this week in the journal PLOS One found that in response to an attack by a murder hornet, worker bees in Vietnam foraged for animal feces, collected it with their mouths and then applied it around the entrance to their nests.
Spotting of the fecal defense system increases after colonies were exposed to attacks or to chemicals that scout hornets use to target colonies for mass attacks, the study found.
And it worked. Researchers found that colonies with heavy to moderate spotting of poop had a reduced likelihood of being attacked. Animal feces has properties that repel the hornets.
The researchers say their work shows the first time the honeybees have used other animals’ feces as a defense tool.
But researchers said that Western honeybees, the ones found in North America, aren’t as prepared for murder hornet attacks as their counterparts in the east.
The hornets have been spotted in Washington State earlier this year