From May to November is the Hornet season in Asia, all over China, Korea, Japan, India and Nepal the locals wage war against insects the size of an adults thumb. These Giant Hornets or Vespa Mandarinia are armed with 6mm stingers that carry a neurotoxin in their venom that dissolves skin and overloads the blood with foreign proteins, shutting down kidneys and generally kills you.
Every season the hornets attack and kill people who are unlucky enough to cross their paths, between 2002-2005, 36 people were killed by rampant swarms, this year with the season yet to reach its peak there have been over 1600 hundred attacks resulting in 42 deaths, similar numbers have reported from other countries, Japan has between 30 and 50 deaths each year from hornet attacks.
But this year in china is the worst in recent history, officials have reported through state media that hotter winters are allowing more Hornet queens to live through the cold weather, giving rise to a lot more nests.
The nests themselves are hard to find, they can make their homes almost anywhere, logs, gables, underground and are only discovered when it’s too late. The Hornet is very aggressive and running only angers it more. Even if you don’t disturb their home, the hornets are attracted to certain scents, sweat, alcohol, sugar all draw clouds of Vespa Mandarinia. And unlike the sting of a Bee, the Hornet can sting over and over.
In southern China a swarm attacked a school, injuring 30 people, many were hospitalised. A teacher who tried to fend the hornets off said they kept attacking him until he passed out. Later the nest was located well away from the school, officials were unable to give a reason why the Hornets had chosen the school as a target.
Traditionally the Giant Hornet has been a problem for rural areas, attacking farmers and holiday makers, but with the rise of the urban sprawl the attacks are moving closer to the cities. In an attempt to drive them out, Local firefighters don hornet proof suits and go into the night with homemade flame throwers to burn nests when they’re most dormant, but even these efforts are small compared to what is needed to eradicate them.
source: DailyMail, National Geographic
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