Lecture 21 - Insect Militarism

Report
“The arms are fair when the
intent for bearing them is
just.”
Shakespeare - Henry IV
Pests, Plagues & Politics
Lecture 21
INSECTS AND WARFARE
Key Points:
Insects and the principles of warfare
• Which principles used by insects in general and social
insects in particular influenced warfare
• What principle do bee-boles make use of?
• In the Vietnam War: Cu Chi, what principle resulted
was used against US troops.
• In which way did the hessian fly undermine the
Americans in the revolutionary war?
There’s even
a book on the
subject
For your interest
Insects and Principles of Warfare
A long history: >10,000 years
*“…insects in general and social insects in particular,
•with their spears (stings),
(weapons)
•chemical poisons (venoms), (bombs, poisons)
•and the apparent discipline of their social existence,
have served as models for man to emulate in his
development of the art of warfare.“
J.T. Ambrose (1974) in the journal ARMY
HYMENOPTERA (membranous wing)
• The bees, wasps & ants
– The STINGING insects
– The leading cause of ENTOMOPHOBIA
• for good reasons = venomous
• Venom
– complex with large inter-generic differences
• mostly proteinaceous & almost always
ALGOGENIC – producing pain
– Wasps & Ants: food gathering & defense
– Bees: defense only
Qualifications of social insects as weapons
• Social
– lots of individuals in a compact space
– the original “cluster bomb”
• Irony: Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 Israel charged with an illegal use of American
supplied cluster bombs.
• Ha!! The Tribes of Israel
were using biologic
“cluster bombs”
thousands of years earlier!!
Living with insects
For your interest
Merrily we grow along, grow along…………….
Feed me, feed me
BIBLICAL REFERENCES
• Exodus 23:28
“And I will send HORNETS before thee,
which shall drive out the Hivite, Canaanite,
the Hittite, from before thee.”
• Deut. 7:20
“Moreover the Lord thy God will send the
HORNET among them until they that are
left, and hide themselves from thee, be
destroyed.”
For your interest
BIBLICAL REFERENCES, cont.
• Josh. 24:12
“And I send the HORNET before you, which
drove them out from before you, even the
two kings of the Amorites; but not with thy
sword nor with thy bow”
[“…it would only be reasonable to regard these (biblical) narratives as excellent
illustrations of the early form of biological warfare.” E. Newfeld]
For your interest
Chinese bee nests
For your interest
Honey Bees as bio-warfare: Medieval Europe
Bee boles in an English castle wall
Honey Bees and the U.S. Civil War
• The battle of Antietam/Sharpsburg
– Antietam; a small creek
– Sharpsburg; a small town in western
Maryland
• Time: September of 1862
• Situation: A Confederate army had
crossed into Maryland and was poised
for a strike north: Pennsylvania, or
worse, Washington, D.C.
For your interest
Honey Bees and the U.S. Civil War
• Troops
– Union: 87,000
– Confederate: 25,000, later reinforced to
40,000
• The Battle
– Produced the greatest number of casualties
of any Civil War battle (4,000 dead; 20,000
wounded.
• A near victory for the Union, but
indecision & fear prevented a complete
victory
For your interest
Cannon Ball Through the Bee Hives
For your interest
The Roulette Apiary, AFTER the cannon ball!!!
For your interest
Hunger games Tracker Jacker:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AYElSbTxYA
American Revolutionary War
• HESSIAN FLIES
– What’s a Hessian?
• Native of the present day state of Hesse in
Germany
• formerly an independent kingdom/duchy of
Germany
• In the Revolution, they were mercenary troops
hired by the British.
– What’s a Hessian Fly?
• Order Diptera
– family Cecidomyiidae - the gall midges
American Revolutionary War
• Hessian flies are pests of wheat
– eggs laid in stem of young wheat plant
– larval flies feed within the stem, weakening it
and ultimately killing the plant.
• Hessian troops accused of bringing the
fly with them and spreading it about the
northeastern colonies to sabotage the
food production by the “rebels.”
A Hessian mercenary
30,000 “hired” by the British
Ca. 7,000 K.I.A.
Ca. 4,500 stayed in America
For your interest
Cricket Fighting
Ancient &
Primarily Asia
For your interest
Key Points:
Insects and the principles of warfare
• Which principles used by insects in general and social
insects in particular influenced warfare
• What principle do bee-boles make use of?
• In the Vietnam War: Cu Chi, what principle resulted
was used against US troops.
• In which way did the hessian fly undermine the
Americans in the revolutionary war?

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