, Volume 43, Issue 9, pp 1031–1034 | Cite as

Heat production by balling in the Japanese honeybee,Apis cerana japonica as a defensive behavior against the hornet,Vespa simillima xanthoptera (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)

  • M. Ono
  • I. Okada
  • M. Sasaki


As an effective counterattack strategy against predacious hornets, especiallyVespa simillima xanthoptera, workers ofApis cerana japonica showed a distinct balling reaction, usually involving 180–300 bees. This produced heat for as long as 20 min, giving rise to temperatures inside the ball higher than 46°C, which is lethal to the hornet but not to the bees.

Key words

Heat production by balling defensive behavior Apis cerana japonica the Japanese honeybee 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ono
    • 1
  • I. Okada
    • 1
  • M. Sasaki
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Entomology, Faculty of AgricultureTamagawa UniversityMachida, Tokyo(Japan)

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