Asian honeybees ‘defend hives from hornets with faeces’

The following are quotations from an article which can be read in full via link:

Researchers have found that honeybees in Vietnam collect and smear animal faeces around their nests to prevent deadly raids by giant hornets.
The bees used chicken poo, buffalo dung and even human urine to defend their hives.

The scientists behind the study, said the research was sparked when a Vietnamese beekeeper told them that the mysterious dark spots they had spotted at hive entrances was excrement.

“We thought that’d be crazy because bees don’t collect dung,” lead author Heather Mattila told AFP news agency.

But the study confirmed that the poo was indeed a defence being deployed by the bees, specifically against giant hornets.

Dr Mattila, a biology professor at Wellesley College in the US state of Massachusetts, said it adds to “an already impressive list of defences they have to prevent these hornets from destroying their colonies”.

It seems surprising that (as far as I know) this is the first that we have heard of this apparently important defence mechanism.