Indonesian Giant Honey Bee Hive


Two really cool hive arrangements of the Indonesian Giant Honey Bee (Apis dorsata binghami) on Komodo island. In response to predatory wasps the bees will relay wave-like shimmering across the entire surface of the hive, produced by raising their abdomens. Look at how incredible the behavior is! — not my footage. When visiting Indonesia I had heard of supposedly translucent bee hives, likely referencing this sort of behavior. The coordination of shimmering is also highly directional and determined by the movements of invading wasps. The bees will move the shimmering pattern faster than the wasp’s flight path, limiting suitable landing platforms as perceived by the wasp. Read more about the antipredator behavior here.

Photographed in situ [1]

Apis dorsata attracted to a fluorescent light on Flores island

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