Honeybees may be endangered, nonetheless I am jealous of them, or at least this one specific kind of bee. The New York Times’ delightful Trilobites column reports that Asian honeybees scream not with their mouths, but with their whole bodies. Per the Times:
“Bees do not scream with their mouths, but with their bodies. When giant hornets draw near and threaten their colony, Asian honeybees cock their abdomens into the air and run while vibrating their wings. The noise can sound eerily like a human scream.
In a paper published Wednesday in the journal Royal Society Open Science, researchers describe the Asian honeybee’s unique acoustic signal, which is called an antipredator pipe. The researchers colloquially refer to it as a “bee scream.”
Those lucky Apidae bastards.
The researchers suggest that the honeybees make this sound as an alarm signal when their nests are threatened, since the shrieks peaked when a giant Vespa soror hornet was hovering outside their colony. Yes, the Times has a video should you like to witness this sonic feat. Notably, they also smear other animals’ shit around their nests to ward off the giant hornets and their sister species, Vespa mandarinia a.k.a. the infamous murder hornet. Another tactic to think about!
The screams I would scream if I could whole-body scream when something threatens my physical or mental nest—I dream of them. Here is a non-exhaustive list of personal threats for which I could use an antipredator pipe noise:
When people tweet that the sun won’t set after 5pm until January: aaaaaaaaaaaieeeeeeenooooo
When famous people lie about being vaccinated then claim a “woke mob” is coming for them: aughhhhWHYiiiiiiiiie
When an ex spots me on a run, turns around, and runs in the other direction to tap me on the shoulder and say hi: AHHH^HHFW*DTHGJDFGJD`OFLJG,HRO
Until I gain this power, I will be waiting for the aliens to abduct me.