It’s now thought that honey bees “shimmer” in order to protect themselves from hornets:
What this essentially does it make is extremely difficult for hornets to swoop in and land on their massive huddle to prey on individual bees. Kastberger and his colleagues noted in their research that shimmering can create what they described as a “shelter zone” of over a foot and a half of space between the bees and hornets or wasps. Catie Keck, “Honey Bees’ Oddly Hypnotizing ‘Shimmering’ Is Actually a Clever Defense” at Gizmodo
Shimmering beats defending themselves by stinging because the bee that stings dies. Odd that bees could teach themselves this alternative purely by accident…
See also: J. Scott Turner and the giant crawling brain
Researchers: Termites protect their ecosystem against drought
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