Use of tools: amongst insects

Asian honey bees are known to stick small pellets of animal poo to their hives, because it puts of hornets from attacking.

Given the incredible cleanliness of bee hives, this behaviour seems foreign, though given the incredible success of the scheme, perhaps it is a sacrifice that they have had to make.

Observation has shown that hives with these poo pellets have hornets nearby for less than half of the time of clean hives, and the hornets in question spend a full 94% less time trying to chew their way in.

Even more impressive, hornets have developed a secretion which they put on nests that should be attacked, but the bees have started responding to these secretion deposits by adding the poo treatment at that time. It would seem that this behaviour is common throughout asia.

It seems strange to put an insect into the tool using category of animals, but it is hard to deny that this is an intentional effort. When needed, and only when needed the bees will find a specific ingredient (in this case animal excrement) gather it, shape it into small balls and then apply it to carry out a specific aim.

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