When Her Reign Is Over, How Do Worker Bees Kill Off The Queen Bee?
When a queen bee’s reign ends (either due to old age or illness), the worker bees end her life in an unusual way. Known among bee keepers and etymologists as “balling” and colloquially as “cuddle death”, the worker bees swarm over her body en masse. The blanket of workers raises the queen’s temperature and the ensuing hyperthermia kills the queen.
Image by Eigene Aufnahme.