Things You Should Know About: Balling the Queen


Here’s the deal:

Insects are freaky. From the Hulk-like strength of ants to the bloodsucking antics of mosquitoes to the bondage-loving lives of spiders, bugs are fucking weird and off-putting. I mean, imagine if any of those above traits were applied to large land animals. It would be terrifying. Like, if we had bloodsucking elephants and gorillas that could lift city bridges…actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing that, as long as they were properly controlled and contained on island amusement parks. Come on genetic engineering, give me some spider-giraffes!

Anyway, the point is that bugs do some odd things, even within the wild kingdom, and quite often bees rank among the oddest of the odd. Now, most people know a fair amount about bee activity. From their hive mind to their comb-building to their royal jelly Jacuzzis, bees display fascinating behavioral traits. They have a class-based society. They die after stinging an enemy (possibly the most ridiculous evolutionary leap ever). And most importantly, they produce a substance that tastes great on Bob Evans biscuits.

They also like balling the queen.

Now, before you Sex Pistols fans get your grungy panties in a bunch, I am not talking about a lost demo track by Sid Vicious. Balling the queen is much more entertaining than that. What happens is, when a queen bee is determined to be too old or sickly by the hive, a replacement is created with the use of royal jelly. As the new virgin queen becomes ready to ascend to the beeswax throne, the other hive members surround the reigning queen and form a ball around her.

This ball of bees effectively smothers the queen by causing her to overheat from the mass of bee body heat. At this point I assume they turn her carcass into a stew, or take turns wearing her exoskeleton à la Buffalo Bill. The virgin queen then celebrates by going out for a night on the town and getting pumped by numerous drones. Taking the title of Queen Beatrix IV, she begins her rightful reign as the dominant royal bee and the whole process starts anew. Oh, the circle of life!

Apparently, balling is not limited to just the queen, however. Queen bees from other hives who enter a new hive in an attempt to overthrow it, as well as predatory wasps, are in danger of being Randle P. McMurphyed by any number of busy little bees.

But seriously, I hope they incorporate this aspect into the next Alien movie.

Alien Queen

David Mogan

Author: David Mogan

David Mogan has joined Robot Butt to be on the right side of history. ALL HAIL OUR MECHANICAL OVERLORDS.

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