Bees lock up invaders and throw away the key

By James Randerson AFRICAN honeybees have devised a bizarre but highly effective tactic for dealing with unwanted guests—they lock them up in prison cells inside their hives. This penal policy keeps a lid on the parasites and, if necessary, buys the colony time to escape. Peter Neumann of the University of Halle-Wittenberg in Germany and colleagues studied how bees in South Africa defend themselves against the small hive beetle Aethina tumida, which is about half the size of a bee. The beetle raids the bees’ food reserves and eats their larvae. The beetle is “built like a tank”,
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