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Bees can bite as well as sting

Posted on Thursday, 18 October, 2012 | Comment icon 7 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
Bees are notorious for their painful stings but surprisingly they are also able to bite and paralyze.

On targets that are too small to sting bees will use their mandibles to bite the attacker and paralyze it with a snake-like anesthetic. Such defensive measures are particularly helpful in removing parasites like the varroa mite from the hive. The discovery is believed to be particularly crucial in the development of ways to help bees fight off viruses that are contributing to their decline in numbers.

"It is amazing that this second line of honeybee defence has gone undetected for so long," said Dr Alexandros Papachristoforou. "Beekeepers will be very surprised by our discovery and it is likely to cause a radical rethink of some long-held beliefs. It will probably stimulate honeybee research in many new directions."

"Scientsits found 2-heptanone (2-H), a natural compound found in many foods as well as insects, in the bite."

  View: Full article

 Source: Telegraph


  Discuss: View comments (7)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Ever Learning on 17 October, 2012, 14:04
Interesting
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hasina on 17 October, 2012, 14:48
Both ends are dangerous! Soon the bees will attack us for enslaving them and causing their massive die offs. The Beepocalypse is upon us!
Comment icon #3 Posted by schizoidwoman on 18 October, 2012, 8:43
Ouch!
Comment icon #4 Posted by cerberusxp on 18 October, 2012, 15:37
No kidding Sherlock! I was bitten and stung at the same time by a HUGE black and white bumble bee in Hawaii in 1977. It left the stinger and poison sac in the back of my thumb and when I went to pull it out I accidentally squished the poison sac. OOOOOWWWWWWEEEEEEE!
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 18 October, 2012, 16:06
Well, I'll bee darned.
Comment icon #6 Posted by hatakah on 23 October, 2012, 0:18
To my knowledge and personal experience MANY bees, and wasps for that matter, do not sting at all, but in fact bite as their first line of defence. I have demonstrated this many times for others by bare-handed handling of bees and wasps. People are shocked when I outstretch my hand to an enormous carpenter bee, for example, and allow it to walk onto the palm of my hand, stroke its back with my finger...
Comment icon #7 Posted by rjl10 on 7 November, 2012, 14:53
such amazing creatures! Good article


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