One of the weirdest stories coming out of 2020 – and that’s saying something – was the invasion of Murder Hornets. First spotted in the United States back in May, it seemed like another escalation of 2020 hostilities. The media seemed to think so anyway. As we pointed out back then, while the yellow Asian hornets were a problem for bees, humans had little to worry about.
Then just as suddenly, the murder hornets disappeared. Not surprising, since there were literally only a few found. That is until late October, when suddenly scientists located and vacuumed up a nest of nearly 100 hornets, including two queens. Entomologists have packed up their hornet search for winter, and plan to study the captive insects.
Meanwhile, back in Vietnam, where Asian hornets are far more prevalent, scientists have discovered an interesting development. Asian honey bees engage in a strange practice called fecal spotting. First noticed more than a decade ago, researchers were unclear what the purpose of the bees’ behavior was. But a new study published in December has revealed the truth.
We all know bees fly around and gather pollen on their legs. They carry some to other flowers, some home for food. But these Asian honey bees are also collecting and bringing home a different sort of product. They will alight in piles of chicken, cow or buffalo dung, and sprinkle bits on the entrance to their hives.
The nasty smell repels the giant hornets that might otherwise attack and destroy the nest. In fact, when the scientists and beekeepers studied the bees’ behavior closely, they noted the spotting would increase in days following an Asian hornet attack.
What makes this even stranger is that bees are famously fastidious. They don’t even “soil themselves” in the hive. So the oddness of gathering another creature’s offal is unusual at best.
Researchers here in America say more study needs to be done before recommending utilization of this approach to save the honey bee. North American honey bees have developed no such defense and could be taken unaware. In fact, they warn beekeepers not to try and help the bees with the process as it may contaminate the honey supply. But maybe the bees in Washington state could start adapting? Who knows.
Meanwhile, bees still face challenges from exposure to pesticides and other chemicals. The EPA’s interim decisions on certain neonicotinoid chemicals have not yet been ratified, probably due to COVID-related restrictions.
The good news is, you don’t need nasty chemicals to get rid of pests. Here at Good News Pest Solutions, we utilize the safest, greenest treatments to provide insect protection for your home or office. Now is the perfect time to get started with our most popular solution. Go Green Perimeter Plus takes care of all the usual insect suspects, for a reasonable fee. For more details and to schedule your first appointment, give us a call!