Australian bees engaged in rivalries with other colonies

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Australian Bees Engaged In Rivalries With Other Colonies


Stingless bees in the Brisbane, Australia area are inciting turf wars, which have already resulted in numerous drone fatalities and hive takeovers.

According to a study in the American Naturalist journal,It's not unheard of for a battle to go on for months, with waves of bee soldiers waging attacks again and again until they've successfully claimed a new throne for their ruler. The carnage is significant, as lives are lost on both sides.

Sound familiar? Dr. Paul Cunningham, the lead scientist in the study, thinks the phenomenon sounds familiar, too. Cunningham told the BBC: "These bees were playing a 'Game of Thrones.'"

In that particular campaign, the stingless warriors took on a different bee species. The attacking gang repeatedly laid both themselves and members of the targeted tribe to waste, at times even going inside the hive and dragging out the young.

Ultimately, the colony was usurped, and the daughter of the victors' queen was declared its new ruler. A subsequent examination of area hives showed that of about 260, over 45 had suffered a similarly hostile takeover at one point.

Experts have certainly gained a new appreciation for how much the stingless bees value territory, but have yet to figure out many of the technical workings surrounding the battles.

Science Alert reports that the study spanned five years. If you want to see bees wage 'war,' check out this video:


More to see:
Bobcat that escaped from New Jersey home captured
Kids cry tears of joy after mom finds missing cat
Smart ape lights campfire, roasts marshmallows
Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners