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I have a question about the death of the Queen, as far as I know there two ways for the workers to kill a Queen.
They can sting her or enclose her in a ball to suffocate her. However, when they swarm and cluster on a branch the Queen is obviously in the middle how does she survive?
 

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In order to kill by balling, whether a queen, hornet, or other, they condense to ball and raise the temp. until the job is done. In a swarm, they stay loosely attached to keep the temp. where it needs to be. Same as in the winter cluster. It expands and contracts according to temperature.
 

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Iddee said:
In order to kill by balling, whether a queen, hornet, or other, they condense to ball and raise the temp. until the job is done. In a swarm, they stay loosely attached to keep the temp. where it needs to be. Same as in the winter cluster. It expands and contracts according to temperature.
Are you sure about this? I have seen the japanese native honey bee ball and kill a giant hornet that way, as the hornet dies at a few degrees lower than the bees does.

But why would a queen die? Would she not handle the same temps as her own bees?

I know balling is for protecting, holding, and isolating the queen. But if they wanted her dead, they would just sting her. The exoskeleton does not even make the stinger to be pulled out. Bees can kill a queen within seconds if they really want too! So I am not really sold on the whole balling a queen and death through heat.

I've seen queens do battle, and the whole thing lasted about 2 seconds. So death comes very fast and the queen can be fatally stung in seconds.
 
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