Stingless bees can mummify beetles in resin!

Jan 9, 2010 by

Yet another reason why bees are awesome: They can mummify beetles. Of course, we're not talking about honeybees here, but I am inspired by ALL bees, no matter what kind. So, apparently this happens in Australian stingless bees, a species called Trigona carbonaria. Scientists placed a bunch of small hive beetles outside a laboratory hive of stingless bees. If the beetles made it past the guard bees, a group of bees in the hive attacked the beetles and coated them with a mixture of resin, mud, and wax. How long does the mummification take? Just about ten minutes. Beat that, Egyptians. The only time researchers saw this method fail was when temperatures rose above 40 Celsius and the resin didn't set. But other than that? Fool proof. Other bees use this method as well, but the coolest one ever mixes in acid to the resin, which eats away at the beetles' hard shell. Let's face it. Bees are the coolest.

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