Desperate times and desperate measures – a talk by Heather Mattila
Cambridgeshire Beekeepers’ Association are delighted to welcome Professor Heather Mattila to discuss her latest research on how honey bees in South East Asia have developed strategies to protect their abundant stockpiles of food and the large colonies they sustain. In Asia, honey bees have evolved under tremendous predatory pressure from social wasps in the genus Vespa, the most formidable of which are the giant hornets that attack colonies in groups, kill adult defenders, and prey on brood. Her study describes a remarkable weapon in the already sophisticated portfolio of defences that honey bees have developed in response to the predatory threats they face. It also highlights the strong selective pressure honey bees will encounter if giant hornets, recently detected in western North America, become established.