Japanese honeybees, Apis cerana japonica, can be attacked by Asian Hornets that raid hives to prey on larvae and pupae. The Asian Hornet has a rigid cuticle that is not penetrated by bee stingers. How is a bee to defend against this threat?
Japanese bees will swarm a hornet and form an attack ball. The bees beat their wing muscles to generate heat. The temperature inside the ball quickly heats the hornet to 47 degrees C, a temperature that kills the hornet but not the bees. The wasp is cooked for about a 20 minute period. This defense evolved in Japanese honeybees that have a long history with the Asian Hornet, but is undeveloped in European Honeybees which are defenseless against Asian Hornets.
*Ugajin A, Kiya T, Kunieda T, Ono M, Yoshida T, Kubo T (2012) Detection of Neural Activity in the Brains of Japanese Honeybee Workers during the Formation of a “Hot Defensive Bee Ball”. PLoS ONE 7(3): e32902.