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:
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