Bees self defense, mummification, is a fascinating survival strategy. When bees encounter an intruder, they will often swarm around it and sting it repeatedly. Bees are small insects extremely organized, clean and effective with extraordinary capability of defense. In case an intruder threatens their habitat, a multitude of bee stings might change the mind of the intruder altogether.
But sometimes, small insects such as
lizards or rodents enters a hive of bees. In no time, the intruder is killed by the bees with their famous weapon- bee stings. But the body of the rodent will rot and that could potentially kill the bee hive altogether.
Bees develop a unique way of dealing with intruders
So bees develop a unique way of dealing with unwanted dead intruders by mummifying them. They accomplish this by wrapping the potential contaminant – in this case a dead mouse – in a substance called propolis. This is a substance that bees harvest from saps from different trees and they do add enzymes. Some trees such as pine do make a special sap like amber that might trap insects for thousands of years, acting very much in the same way as the propolis does.
Actually we can still isolate the DNA from those insects trapped in amber after many thousands of years. Once the intruder is wrapped in propolis, it stays like this indefinitely, without contaminating the hive with any pathogens from decomposing body. This is the ultimate mummification method and absolutely effective. If this substance has the ability to prevent the body from decomposing than the benefits of propolis could be explored and used by us for our benefit. The benefits of propolis will be discussed in another blog.
The heat and carbon dioxide produced inside the bee ball suffocate and kill the predator
Bees are remarkable creatures with many unique traits that make them essential to our ecosystem. One of the most interesting behaviors they exhibit is their self-defense mechanism known as “mummification.”
When bees encounter a predator or an intruder, they will often swarm around it and sting it repeatedly. However, if the predator is too big or dangerous, the bees will resort to mummification. This involves surrounding the predator with a dense layer of bees and then vibrating their wings to generate heat. The heat and carbon dioxide produced inside the bee ball suffocate and kill the predator, effectively mummifying it.
While this behavior may seem extreme, it is a necessary survival strategy for bees. Many predators, such as bears or raccoons, will try to raid beehives to steal honey and larvae. Without a strong defense mechanism, the entire hive could be destroyed, leaving the bees vulnerable and without a home.
If a bee dies from an illness, the other bees will encase the body in a wax cocoon
Mummification is not just limited to predators, either. Bees also use this technique to control disease and prevent the spread of infections. If a bee dies from an illness, the other bees will encase the body in a wax cocoon, effectively mummifying it and preventing the spread of disease to other bees in the hive.
This behavior is not only fascinating but also crucial to the survival of bee populations. Bees are facing many challenges, including habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change. By understanding their behavior and the importance of their survival strategies, we can better appreciate their role in our ecosystem and work to protect them.
In conclusion, mummification is a remarkable self-defense mechanism that bees use to protect themselves and their hives from predators and disease. As we continue to learn more about these fascinating creatures, we can work to preserve their habitats and ensure their survival for generations to come.
Bees play a vital role in our ecosystem. But when they decide to build their hive in or around our homes, they can become a nuisance and even a danger to our health. In these cases, it’s crucial to call in a professional bee removal service. They will safely and effectively remove the bees and their hive. All Bees Removal has the experience, knowledge, and equipment to safely remove bees and their hives. This prevent future infestations, and protect your property from damage. Furthermore, they can also save bees if possible and dispose of the bees and their hives. All this in compliance with the laws. Call All Bees Removal today for a free consultation.