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China’s Hornet Problem Becoming Lethal
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Giant Asian Hornets are killing people in large numbers in China, and the insects are reportedly also in the U.S. With the global climate change and temperature rise, more insects are breeding. This particular lethal bug, the giant Asian hornet is killing people left and right. The Huffington Post reports “at least 28 people have died while hundreds have been injured because of the waves of attacks by the giant hornets in central China.”

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People have been stung as many as 200 times and victims have reportedly ran hundreds of meters to escape the vicious insects sting. The venom from the sting of the Vespa mandarinia causes kidney failure and can cause anaphylactic shock. The average stinger on the giant Asian hornet is about a quarter of an inch long.

The Asian giant hornet is also known as the “yak-killer” hornet, as it assumedly can kill even a large half-ton mountain yak. Every year around 30 to 40 people in Japan succumb to the toxic venom from this insect.

The killer hornet is intensely predatory, it hunts medium to large sized insects such as other hornets or bees. They attack hives to obtain honeybee larvae -as food for their own larvae. The giant Asian hornet has been known to be able to devastate an entire colony of honeybees as a single hornet can kill as many as 40 honeybees per minute with its large decapitating mandible. The honeybee stingers are basically ineffective as the hornets are heavily armored and five times the size of a honeybee.

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Though other bees are just food for the giant Asian Hornet, the Japanese honeybees have evolved alongside their predator and have ways to trap and kill their antagonist. The giant Asian hornet scouts singly finds the bee colony and then uses pheromones to bring other hornets that wipe it out. The smaller honeybees have a single defense. They strategically surround the scout hornet, as a hundred or so bees press and suffocate the giant hornet predator. Then they vibrate and concentrate carbon dioxide inside their defensive ball, heating and asphyxiating their killer and saving their bee colony.

The yak killer, the giant Asian hornet is found in the Russian far-east, Korea, Indochina, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Taiwan, and China. As killer hornets have now been spotted in the U.S., they can be added to the list of lethal insects alongside the killer bees, killer cicada wasps, and crazy ants, the kind of ants that chew into electrical wiring and cause blackouts.





 

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