Apis cerana japonica
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|The hive of A. c. japonica being scouted by a yellow hornet.|
|Subspecies:||A. c. japonica|
|Apis cerana japonica
Apis cerana japonica is a subspecies of honeybee native to Japan. It is commonly known as the Japanese honeybee (ニホンミツバチ Nihon mitsubachi ). This subspecies was determined, through an analysis of mitochondrial DNA, to have originally come from the Korean peninsula. They have been observed moving into urban areas due to lack of natural predators.
Ecology and behavior 
When an Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) scout locates and approaches a Japanese honeybee hive it will emit specific pheromonal hunting signals. When the honeybees detect these pheromones, about one hundred will gather near the entrance of the nest and set up a trap, keeping it open apparently to draw the hornet further into the hive or allow it to enter on its own.
As the hornet enters the nest, a large ball (see image, on the left) of about five hundred honeybees surround it, completely covering it and preventing it from moving. The bees in the ball begin quickly vibrating their flight muscles, raising the temperature within the honeybee mass. In addition, the activity of the bees sharply raises the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration within the ball.
Japanese honeybees can generate temperatures of about 46 °C (115 °F), and at the CO2 concentrations they produce, they can tolerate temperatures of up to 51 °C (124 °F). However, the hornet cannot survive under these conditions for more than 10 minutes, resulting in its death. Several bees may die along with the intruder, but the death of the hornet scout prevents it from summoning reinforcements which could wipe out the colony.
Beekeepers in Japan attempted to introduce the European honeybee in order to increase honey productivity, but European bees lack the same defensive behavior against the hornet as A. c. japonica and the colonies are rapidly destroyed when discovered by the hornets.
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