NBCNews A series of deadly hornet attacks has led Chinese officials to warn citizens to avoid walking through fields and wooded areas this year. At least 28 people have been killed, and hundreds seriously injured, when swarms of the stinging insects descend without warning on unsuspecting people. The prime suspect in the killings is the Asian giant hornet — sometimes called the yak-killer hornet (Vespa mandarinia) — which can grow to be more than 2 inches (5 centimeters) in length, and has a quarter-inch-long (6 millimeters) stinger that delivers venom containing a potent neurotoxin. The Asian giant hornet is the world’s largest hornet, and is a voracious predator that dines on mantises, bees and other large insects. It has a deservedly evil reputation for wiping out entire hives containing thousands of honeybees by biting off the bees’ heads and then stealing their honey and bee larvae. The hornets are capable of flying up to 62 miles (100 kilometers) in a single day at speeds of 25 mph (40 km/h). Most of the attacks have occurred in Shaanxi province, the South China Morning Post reports. One victim suffered acute renal failure after being stung by hornets; the man claimed the hornets chased him over a distance of more than 650 feet (200 meters). A 55-year-old woman from the same village reported that she was stung more than 200 times and needed to be hospitalized for almost a month. The unexpected rise in hornet attacks may be due to a number of factors, according to The Guardian. Hotter weather in the area has led to more successful breeding for the hornets, and laborers are moving deeper into the isolated rural areas where the hornets typically live. “Patients with more than 10 hornet stings should seek medical attention. Those with more than 30 stings need immediate emergency treatment,” said a director of the Ankang (Shaanxi) Disease Control Center, as quoted in the Post. Area hospitals have now created medical teams specializing in the treatment of hornet stings, and fire crews have removed more than 300 hornet nests from residential areas in an effort to prevent additional deaths and injuries.
First off I would like to state that the picture above is a legitimate picture of the Asian Giant Hornet or “Yak-Killer”. There are plenty of pictures of them, all huge, some of them murdering other bees and wasps. These things are absolutely huge, imagine getting attacked by a swarm of hundreds of those things trying to sting you, it would be terrifying. It would be like getting jumped by hundreds of hummingbirds with attitude problems who are armed with chainsaws, there is just nothing you can do, I think I would try to jump into the nearest body of water and breathe through a hollow reed like Rambo to survive. In all reality, you probably just have to accept your fate, and lie down and take it.
Confession: I’m no hippie, in fact I despise them with every fiber of my being, but I have gone frisbee golfing. I was terrible at it, so I instantly threw one of the frisbees into a tree, and it got stuck. I decided that my best course of action to receive frisbee was to throw rocks into the tree, but when I did, I hit a hornet’s nest. It was one of the worst things imaginable, one of the hornets stung me right on the top of the head, which left me with a giant painful lump that was shaped like an egg for a week.
The moral of the story is, that was one small American hornet, and it was brutal. I could not imagine being swarmed by hundreds of “Yak Killers” who were just protecting their nest that day, and saw you as a threat. Add this to the list of ways that I do not want to leave this planet.