Vespa mandarinia

Posted on June 10, 2006 

Vespa mandarinia

The species Vespa mandarinia is a very large-sized wasp with a Body length 27 – 45 mm; unbelievable, the queens reach 5.5 cms in length!

Distribution:
SE part of Asian Russia: southern regions of Primorskii Krai, Korea, China, Indochina, Nepal, India (Kurzenko, 1995), Shri Lanka, Thailand, Japan (In Japanese: Ohsuzumebati).

The Japanese Honeybee’s Thermal Defense
The Japanese giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia japonica, preys on other species of bees and wasps. When a solitary hunter finds a nest, it marks it with a secretion from its van der Vecht gland. Other hornets in the area congregate to the area, and they begin a mass attack on the colony. While they are efficient at wiping out hives of the introduced European honeybee Apis mellifera (they are killed at rates as high as 40 per minute), the native Japanese honeybee, Apis cerana japonica, has an interesting defense against the predatory hornet! The Japanese honeybees can detect the hornet’s secretion, and attack incoming hornets en masse. With approximately 500 honeybees surrounding the hornet in a tight ball, the temperature within the cluster rises to 47º C (117º F), which is above the upper lethal limit range of 44-46 degrees for the hornet. This temperature is too high for the hornet, which quickly expires, but does not harm the honeybees.This temperature does not aversely affect the honeybees because their upper lethal limit is slightly higher, 48-50 degrees.

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