Thursday, September 29, 2005

Heat-balling honeybees and other trivia

It sounds like a spoof but it's for real.
This is news to me, but I make note of it for general interest. After seeing March of the Penguins my wonder of natural phenomena is renewed.

Honeybees that defend their colonies by killing wasps with body heat come within 5°C of cooking themselves in the process, according to a study in China. At least two species of honeybees there... engulf a wasp in a living ball of defenders and heat the predator to death....a few honeybee species can defend themselves by surrounding an invader. Researchers used to think that the few-dozen bees were trying to sting the wasp, says Seeley. Thermal cameras, however, revealed the balls' soaring heat.

Link to article. Who woulda thunk?
Thanks Gene Expression.

Biting off more than you can chew
In other news, my buddy Catfish emails me pictures and story of a big catfish that bit off more than he could chew. Seems the fish tried to eat a childs ball and got it hung in his mouth. Poor guy, he couldn't get it out, couldn't dive and couldn't eat. He might have died had it not been for the man who punctured the ball and set him free.
You can see pictures and read the story at Truth or Fiction.
Trent Lott says that a good prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. How about a rubber ball? (The senator didn't mention bloggers as far as I can determine.)

1 comment:

Elsa said...

I have seen such honeybees once on television. They cook their invaders to death. It's the way to defend their colonies.

I've seen a single wasp overwhelm a colony of 6,000 bees" of a species that doesn't make heat balls, says Seeley. The invader wasp stands at the nest's entrance as one guard bee after another comes out to defend its home. "The wasp cuts the guard into pieces ... and waits for the next one," says Seeley. When all the defenders are dead, "the wasps strip-mine out the larvae," he reports.

Interesting. I wonder what happens when human being come too close...