When honey bees need to defend their colony from wasps, they can form a "defense wave". Also known as "shimmering" behavior, the wave happens when bees on the outer layer of the hive synchronize their movements to create a ripple effect. This confuses and repels approaching wasps. When confronted with a defense wave, the wasps will have a difficult time harming a single bee or stealing food from the bee's nest. The mesmerizing ripple makes it appear as if the hundreds of bees are a single organism.