Why Do These Bee’s Buzz in Sync?

Jimmy Doherty, a young British farmer, fanatical about honey, is facing a new challenge. Can he overcome the dangers to harvest the highly prized Himalayan honey from nests on cliffs 300ft high? Nepalese wild honey is one of the most sought after varieties. Due to their size, Himalayan giant bees are able to forage at extremely high altitude, collecting nectar from the flowers blooming way up into the mountains. Nepalese honey hunters have mastered the art of harvesting this treasured prize from cliffs over 300ft high – an incredibly demanding task, fraught with danger. Will Jimmy be able to summon the courage to descend the handmade bamboo ladder over the edge of the cliff to attempt to fulfil a lifelong ambition?


Each of these massive combs can contain a hundred thousand wild bees. Together they look like a single superorganism. They hang around the nests waiting to intercept individual bees as a return from foraging. This is their greatest defense, particularly against their old enemy, the hornet. And when under attack, they do the synchronized flicking of their abdomens and create those astonishing waves. It really does make them appear as one an intimidating mass of bees designed to make any predator think twice. But Hornets don’t give up easily. Unlucky ones are literally knocked to the ground.

Where a fellow Hornet or two is waiting to strike. But it would take an army of Hornets to have any real impact on these bees. There are over two million on this cliff alone.

Ali Kaya


Ali Kaya

This is Ali. Bespectacled and mustachioed father, math blogger, and soccer player. I also do consult for global math and science startups.

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