APR 07, 2020 10:10 AM PDT

As the Seasons Change, Hornet Colonies Make Tough Decisions

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Hornet colonies can be particularly susceptible to the Earth’s seasonal changes. That’s why when the climate becomes cold and damp, hornets work overtime in an effort to ensure the survival of their colony. Unfortunately, a large percentage of the colony doesn’t make it — the queen included.

One of the ways worker hornets keep their colony warm during this troubling time of the year is by making the entrance as small as possible. In doing so, warmer air stays in, and colder air stays out. Unfortunately, air isn’t the only thing going in and coming out of the colony…

Worker hornets are also painfully aware that they can’t feed all members of the colony, and so they begin dumping unnecessary larvae out of the entrance. Only a lucky few larvae are permitted to live, continuously being fed by the worker hornets. Calling these select few larvae lucky is no overstatement, as even the colony’s queen is left out of the feeding frenzy.

After all the unnecessary larvae and the colony’s queen die, the remaining hornets will need to build a new colony as the following year comes around. Fortunately, just the right number of larvae were permitted to live to initiate a whole new generation.

Related: An Asian Hornet Was Discovered in the U.K. for the First Time

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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