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Nature & Environment

Dozens killed by giant hornets in China

By T.K. Randall
September 27, 2013 · Comment icon 16 comments



Giant hornets can prove deadly. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Thomas Brown
Stings from swarms of the giant flying insects have left several people dead and hundreds more injured.
The warm summer in central China has resulted in a significant increase in giant hornet populations. Known for being extremely aggressive, giant hornets have the potential to be lethal and can pursue a target for miles. Their venom is highly toxic and can lead to both anaphylactic shock and heart failure.
Between 2001 and 2005, 36 people were killed and 715 injured by giant hornets in the city of Ankang alone. This year the problem has been worse than ever with 18 deaths and several hundred more reported injuries.

Authorities have warned people to seek medical assistance if they are stung more than 10 times and that 30 or more stings can be life threatening. The city fire department has been attempting to help out by removing hornet nests from the area, but despite more than 300 nests being destroyed so far this summer the problem is unlikely to subside until the temperature drops in the coming months.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (16)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin 9 years ago
Hear you on that. Hope there is something that can be done about it.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Big Bad Voodoo 9 years ago
Hear you on that. Hope there is something that can be done about it. Flamethrower?
Comment icon #9 Posted by QuiteContrary 9 years ago
They may both (Japanese and Chinese) be Asian Giant Hornet BIG! and talk about Bug eyes! attacking a bee hive http://natgeotv.com/...e-giant-hornets Giant hornets can spray their toxic venom and if it gets into your eye it will dissolve the eye tissue and you will go blind.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Ogbin 9 years ago
Bees, Wasps, Yellow Jackets, Hornets.... All Awesome!
Comment icon #11 Posted by ExplainInTheAss 9 years ago
They may both (Japanese and Chinese) be Asian Giant Hornet BIG! and talk about Bug eyes! attacking a bee hive http://natgeotv.com/...e-giant-hornets Giant hornets can spray their toxic venom and if it gets into your eye it will dissolve the eye tissue and you will go blind. That's ridicculous. What Big Bad Voodoo said ... Flamethrower
Comment icon #12 Posted by tyrant lizard 9 years ago
Bees, Wasps, Yellow Jackets, Hornets.... All Awesome! Unless you trod on their nest by mistake. Then FLAAAMETHROWER!
Comment icon #13 Posted by highdesert50 9 years ago
Asian giant hornet, up to 5 cm in length, is formidable and anaphylaxis is a very unpleasant way to die. All the world seems to have its tormentors in some form.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Sundew 9 years ago
How giant are we talking? No pics? I believe this one was already dead. BTW they have now been found in Europe (France), probably as stowaways on ships, and they are spreading. They are causing deaths and environmental damage as well as killing honeybees, one of their principal prey species.
Comment icon #15 Posted by moonshadow60 9 years ago
Two inches long and quite wide the deion said on Wikipedia. I did a web search on giant Asian wasps. Being allergic to even American honey bees, this is a scary thought. Got to go get another EpiPen because eventually they will be in the US as well.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Rafterman 9 years ago
I read the some bee species have developed a defense where hundreds of them form a ball and engulf the hornet. They then beat their wings to generate heat and vibration, essentially cooking the hornet (and the bees on the inside as well).


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