The Honey bee and the big bad Hornet


Derrick Maness

One bee hive in a thousand that Derrick takes care of every year

Every day, Derrick Maness, a 38-year-old man in Silt, Colorado, wakes up at sunrise and begins work at his various honey farms. Maness takes care of over 45,000,000 bees a day. He is the boss, the workers, and the happiest when he’s working.
Maness’s bee farms have around 4,000 hives. In the summer the bees makeover ten pounds of honey a day. That is estimated at around 40,000 pounds of honey each day. Maness is one on the country’s largest honey farmers. His honey is purchased up and down the Western Slope.
In Aspen, a lot of locals purchase honey from Epicurean honey farms unaware that Epicurean honey was bought from Colorado Mountain Honey, Maness’s honey company.
When Maness heard of the Giant Asian Hornet, also referred to as the “Murder Hornet” he did not look at the species any differently than his bees. He encourages the public not to panic.
“ The bees I take care of are foreign to America. They came over on a boat in the colonial times, but the best part about my bees are that they are European bees,  which means they are able to pollinate and make honey faster. Now with the the wasp it’s gonna be the exact same thing,” Maness said.
Maness spoke about the different types of Honey bees across the world. Especially those in Japan, where the giant, Asian Hornet used to cohabitate with the Japanese Honey bees.
“This is basically just a part of the evolution that the European honey bees of America are just gonna learn how to survive with the Asian Hornet when it eventually makes its way to the Midwest if it does,” Maness said.
As Asian Honey bees were introduced to the Asian Hornet hundreds of years ago. The two species made a defense system that European Honey bees may now use in America too. Many years ago, Asia brought over million of European Honey bees for better pollination, and in a matter of weeks, they were all dead because they did not have the Asian Honey bees defense system.
Honey bees die at 118 degrees Fahrenheit and the Giant Asian Hornet dies at 115 degrees Fahrenheit. So what the Asian bees do is let the hornets walk into their hive, and even possibly kill a couple of bees just to get to get the wasp far enough into the hive, so there is no possible chance of coming out. The bees then make a vibrating movements to signal the other bees to attack. Finally, when they do attack they do not sting the hornet at all because after a Honey bees sting something it kills them. Instead, hundred of bees jump onto the hornet and take it into an egg-shaped cage. The Honey bees then vibrate their bodies to  of cause friction and heat. When they reach 115 degrees they kill the hornet and they merely fly away from the wasp being burned alive.
The Honey bee is so incredible, that it can kill a presumed predator before killing themselves with a four-degree accuracy.
“Humans will not be hurt by the Murder Hornet unless provoked and the European honey bees will learn by evolution, it may tales years, but evolution will take hold and they will learn the same defense system or possibly a different one from the Asian Honey bee,”Mannes said.