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  1. #1

    Post

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back out of the water...

    "The 7 1/2 -centimetre-long adult insects -- up to five times the size of a typical wasp -- can be lethal, and kill about 40 people every year. They also attack and kill whole hives of bees..." http://salinella.bio.uottawa.ca/BIO3323/Lectures/Assignment%202001/bio3323_lectA ssign_Vesp.htm

    "European honeybees are a favorite target of the giant hornets. Commonly used by Japanese farmers, the honeybees are not native to Japan and have no natural defenses against an onslaught of giant hornets. " http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ntHornets.html

    [Vespa mandarinia rates of killing ]"Apis mellifera...[range] as high as 40 per minute....If a colony of about 30.000 European honeybees (Apis mellifera) were to be attacked by 30 giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia japonica) they would be wiped out in 3 hours...
    Distribution:
    SE part of Asian Russia: southern regions of Primorskii Krai, Korea, China, Japan (In Japanese: Ohsuzumebati), Indochina, Nepal, India (Kurzenko, 1995),..."[Note: some of these are quite cold; the Primorskii is home to the Russian bees first introduced for Varroa resistance" http://www.muenster.org/hornissenschutz/manda.htm

    Vespa mandarinica "....with bodies
    no bigger than 5cm, can fly 50 miles in a single day at 20 miles per hour.." www.vaam-power.com/vaam_info.html

    "The Japanese honey bee, Apis cerana japonica Rad. (Acj), is known to perform a unique thermal defense against hornets such as Vespa mandarina (Vm) and V. simillima xanthoptera. The other interesting defensive behaviors of Acj are 1) cessation of foraging and hiding inside the hive and 2) shriving off [with mandibles] the [hornet's[ forage-site marking pheromone deposited from sternite gland (van der Vecht gland)...": http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~insects/...m_defense.html

    "When attacked by white-faced hornets (Vespa mandarina japonica F. Smith), honeybees (Apis cerana japonica (Fabricius)form defensive balls around them, each ball consisting of about 400 tightly aggregated individuals. The interiors of these balls quickly rise to 47°C, killing the hornets but not the bees whose upper lethal temperature is 48–50°C. If the honeybees fail to kill the first hornet attackers, however, the latter, by releasing phermones, recruit their nestmates and these overpower the bee colony with sheer numbers: 30,000bees can be killed in their hive by a group of only 30–40 hornets" http://216.239.41.104/search?q=cacheOokWN6O1DEJ est.cabweb.org/PDF/BER/BER87-5/551.pdf+vespa+mandarina&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
    "...They extracted a number of volatile chemicals from a pheromone of the worlds largest hornet, Vespa mandarina and found that this extract caused intense alarm and defensive behaviour amongst the hornets. The chemicals triggering the behaviour (2-pentanol, 3-methyle1-1-butanol and 1-methylbuti1 3-methylbutanoate) are found in some cosmetics and fragrances as well as some manufactured foods." http://www.beedata.com/apis-uk/newsl...-uk101103.htm.

    Sweet Dreams...

    Brian Cady

    [This message has been edited by briancady413 (edited April 22, 2004).]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,427

    Post

    With our luck someone will import them to try crossing them with the giant cicada killers as some pest managment attempt, or worse, genetically engineer them.

    Of course, no one will forsee that they will escape to the wild.... How could that happen? After all these are scientist!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,290

    Post

    In the Fall I have seen piles of ball faced hornets in front of hives.The bees seem to handle them rather well .But they can keep their giant hornets home ,thank you.By the way,the Tropilpsas mite(cant pronounce it let alone spell it)hasnt got here yet,but probably will.Its a major pest.

  4. #4

    Post

    I figure, we humans being the reckless rascals we are, if a well-meaning mad scientist doesn't let a new pest go accidentally, they'll be released as some shady overseas honey cartel effort, or domestic honey futures market scam, so we might as well plan for their arrival by taking steps to breed for resistance traits (if any) now.

    Anyway, thinking about it provides me with hours of entertainment, pleasing my housemates to no end.

    Brian Cady


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,290

    Thumbs down

    If they are like other hornets and wasps,mated queens survive the winter in a dormant state hid away in some dry crevice-like a crack in the wood of a shipping crate bound for the USA.That is how they will arrive sooner or later.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Sebastopol, CA, USA
    Posts
    29

    Post

    When I was in India recently visiting beekeepers with Apis cerana hives, I noticed a rather large wasp cruising at the entrance of some hives not as large as the Japense wasps. The bees did a very interesting defense which consisted of a group of about 50 staying tightly packed on the landing board. When the hornet came close, the would all twitch rapidly back and forth giviing the impression of a larger creature moving quickly. Then they would settle down, only to do it again when the hornet came close.

    I saw this at a number of cerana locations, so it wasn't just a fluke. The wasps did not seem overly disturbed by it, but they also did not attack the bees, so it may have been working.

    Even though Apis cerana is smaller than melifera, thier sting is quite potent!

    [This message has been edited by danbeeman (edited January 01, 2004).]

  7. #7

    Post

    danbeeman, what an interesting evolution must have occured to have produced such a complex and co-ordinated defence strategy!

    Actually, was it co-ordinated? Did the bees twitch back and forth in unison?

    I understand there are other bee-hunting wasps in asia which tend to hunt alone - Vespa mandarinia is said to pheremone-mark hives and attack en mass.

    The A. cerana defence of clutching the wasp en mass and wing-quivering until wasp-fatal temperatures are reached seems less astonishing than any such mass co-ordinated mimicry.

    Brian Cady


    [This message has been edited by briancady413 (edited January 07, 2004).]

  8. #8

    Post

    A post on a National Geographic Explorer TV show on Vespa mandarina is 'Hornets from Hell', here at: http://www.beesource.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/001322.html

    A five-minute free web except is at:
    http://www.olympus.co.jp/en/magazine...ovie_mp_b.html

    Brian Cady

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    medesto,indiana,usa
    Posts
    257

    Post

    If this wasp ever makes it to the states I wonder how they'll make out head to head with our bumble bees some of those guys can be pretty big bruisers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Carnation, WA, USA
    Posts
    120

    Post

    I was in the Philipines in the Navy back in 1972. Once while laying back against a palm tree, I glanced over to my right and one of those humongous wasps was about an inch away from nose. I jumped up and swear I landed at least 10 feet from that palm tree. Couldn't belive the size of that sucker!

    Discovery channel ran an hour special on those wasps. A few of them can wipe out a domesticated beehive (eg Italians) in a couple hours. The native Japanese bees have survived by an interesting adaptation. When a scout wasp shows up they allow it into the hive and then immediately ball it. They raise the core temperatute to about 117F (if I remember correctly) and the wasp can only survive up to 116F. The bees can survive 118F. The scout wasp dies and so never returns to the wasp nest to report the location of the bee hive.

  11. #11

    Post

    Beeminer and all,

    I'm eager to get a copy of that TV special - it would make a great halloween gift to beekeeping entomologist freind planning a trip back to Japan.

    I can't find it for sale anywhere on the web. Reportedly National Geographic's Explorer TV series did a 'Hornets from Hell' episode, but I haven't found a solid lead on buying one. Someone mentioned a 4-tape set, but I didn't see that it had 'Hornets from Hell'.

    If anyone knows where to get the VHS, please let me know.

    Brian Cady

  12. #12

    Exclamation

    While I STILL cannot find the video 'Hornets from Hell' for sale, I HAVE found out that it won:

    An Emmy in 'News and Documentaries: Outstanding Individual Acheivement in a Craft: Music and Sound';

    AND 'Best of Festival' at 'TeleNatura 2002' - the International Television Festival on Conservation of Nature and Environment, at Pamplona, Spain.

    I REALLY want to allow my entomologist freinds to see this - One of them will take her daughter to Japan this summer, and also I hope they may take on A. mellifera resistance breeding - the native range of A. mellifera overlaps Vespa mandarina's thoughout Nepal, Primorski Russia, Burma, etc., so I expect that genetic resistance, while lacking in our European strains, will be found in the A. mellifera species, allowing breeding for Vespa mandarina resistance instincts.

    Any leads toward buying this, or just when it would be re-broadcast in Western Massachusetts, would be extremely appreciated.

    Brian Cady

    [This message has been edited by briancady413 (edited April 22, 2004).]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Mtn. Home, ID
    Posts
    6

    Post

    It's interesting that you bring this topic up. I'm in the Air Force stationed in Northern Japan. Just this week I was talking with one of my Japanese workers about my interest in keeping bees once I get back to the States. He found some bee sites on the Japanese yahoo site and in talking about bees he mentioned the Giant Hornet and they do take them seriosly. He said that as few as two stings can kill someone. Their venom has the ability to eat flesh; I guess the same as some snakes. Last year a nest of the hornets was found here on base and they evacuated a good ways around the building until they were sure all of them were killed. He said that most of the beekeepers here are migratory. They move the bees down south for the winter and them bring them back up here. This area averages over 180" of snow a year. The cherry trees are in full bloom; wish I knew how to post pictures to show them. There are cherry blossom festivals all over. So far I haven't seen any bees working. On the websites they show Longstroth hives, wooden and cardboard boxes, and even buckets were used. They also had picture compairing the native Japanes honey bee to the other races. I wish I could find those web sites again, the ones that had translated versions had some interesting information. I've been coming to this site now for two months and have learned a lot of great things. I can't waite until I can start a few hives myself. I'll be rotating back to the States this summer. Thanks for providing a great place where beginners such as myself can learn. Preston.

    [This message has been edited by Preston (edited April 23, 2004).]

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Carnation, WA, USA
    Posts
    120

    Post

    Preston,

    Thank you for serving in the USAF!

    I was stationed in Masawa, Japan for a couple months back in 1973. Are you anywhere near there?

    I think the Beesource Bulletin Booard has more that a few hundred years of beekeeping experience represented here. Ain't it great!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Mtn. Home, ID
    Posts
    6

    Post

    BeeMiner.
    I'm at Misawa; I wonder if you would recognize the base from what it looked like in 73. It is a multi service base now. This part of Japan is nice but the winters can get long. It is nice being up here in the rural are but sometimes it feels like your on a remote just with your family. We've enjoyed our time here but we're looking forward to getting back to the U.S. Dorothy said it best "There's no place like home". The best thing though is we're looking forward to retirement. I have 5 classes to finish my degree and then I'm going to retire; I kick myself for not getting it done earlier in my career. When you were here did you get to see very much of the area? This weekend we'll be going to the cherry blossom festival at Hirosaki. The Japanese people are really great and we're going to miss our friends. Maybe when I get back there I'll be close to one of the great beekeepers that post here and be able to gain some hands on experience.
    Preston.

    [This message has been edited by Preston (edited April 23, 2004).]

    [This message has been edited by Preston (edited April 23, 2004).]

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