Not afraid of bees? You should! Check out this Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) commonly referred to as the Sparrow Bee, a monster with a standing record as the worlds largest Hornet! It can be as long as your pinkie and have a total wingspan (wing to wing) the length of your hand!
Not allergic to bee Stings? Doesn’t matter with this killer! If the hornet injects enough venom in you, you could die regardless. People stung by this giant say that it’s like having a nail driven into your skin, that’s because the venom causes the arachidonic acid to be released from the phospholipid membrane disproportionately ( or in simpler terms, it eats away at your flesh).
You’ll feel this 1/4 inch stinger which is the size of the tip of your pen (think of a staple, but half the size) and because it doesn’t have an ridges, the stinger can be stab you multiple times – talk about a bee sting!*@
The hunt starts with this killer hornet locating a hive of honey bees; the scout then sneaks in as close as possible to its prey and sprays the area with a pheromone which serve as a road map for reinforcements. A few Giant Hornets can slaughter a hive of 30,000 honey bees within three hours leaving only severed heads and limbs – talk about a disadvantage!
The honey bees have to act fast and being at such a disadvantage, their only hope is to trick the hornet into entering the hive. They accomplish this by moving away from the hive and letting the hornet believe that the honey is unprotected. If the giant hornet takes the bait and enters the hive, hundreds of honey bees hiding inside ambush the intruder covering it with their bodies and gyrating their flight muscles to generates incredible heat. The temperature rises to 115 to 117 degrees Fahrenheit which is just tolerable for a honey bee but kills the giant hornet (it can only handle 113 degrees). The threat is neutralized with the death of the intruder which is unable to bring reinforcements.
Think because you’re human and don’t have honey that this doesn’t concern you? Think again – these giants attack humans as well and more then 40 people die each year from the attack.
Once the hornet has you in it’s sights, there is no use running; it can fly up to speeds of 25 mph and travel up to 60 miles in a day, so it’s little work for the wasp to catch you and begin the onslaught of stinger stabs. I should note here that the wasp does not fly around looking for humans but rather was disturbed and believes it is under attack.
Some of the people that die each year are caught trying to steal the hornets larva. Humans stealing larva? Yep, believe it or not, Many Japanese consider the larva a delicacy and eat them deep fried or as a kind of hornet sushi. If this giant hornet believes it is in danger, it will use an alarm pheromone to alert others that their nest is under attack – when that happens, you better start saying your prayers because the whole nest will mobilize and attack you in their defense! If one can kill, imagine what would happen with a nest!
What to avoid being stung by the Giant Hornet (or any other hornet for that matter)? Then avoid the following:
- Disturbing a nest (including vibrations and loud noises)
- Being within a few meters of a nest
- Disturbing or killing a hornet within a few meters of a nest
- Blocking the path of a hornet
- Breathing on the nest or hornet
- Rapid air movements
National Geographic TV series EXPLORER had an excellent show that graphically covered this and was an absolutely amazing video! The program was called Hornets From Hell.
You’ll see some sites claiming that the giant hornet sprays humans in the eyes with a flesh eating chemical – not true, but it does sting with such a chemical. They are commonly located in China, India and the mountains of Japan.
I just killed two big hornets. I never saw one down here in Wichita Ks
I live in Dallas, Tx. I know they say everything is bigger in Texas but this is crazy. One of these hornets was hanging by my patio and I swear it was as big as a hummingbird. Very worried there may be a nest somewhere and there will be more.
these things give me the creeps
MY mom and i were putting in some flowers when a japanese giant hornet stung me on the back it hurt like hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hated hornets bees wasps etc. anyway yeah they are agressive OH YEAH ONE MORE THING I SEE U.
I really hate any kind of bug in the world except for ladybugs. I really got stung 7 times from a yellow jacket and it really hurts. If anybody gets stung by this or dies then I fill really sorry for them.
When I used to live in utah with wife and her son, anyway I was supposed to pull weeds by driveway. I saw one wasp come out from electric post, I used my cap to kill it. But next one came out then I killed it. Then third one come out, I killed the third one.
After that there was so many comes out so I had to pull electric post out, whoa there was wasp nest in post. I had to do something about it so I walked to garage then grab weed killer cuz I knew bug spray don’t work guess what happened weed killer works, all wasp died instant in nest.
But few are flying around me, (you can use image as laser gun game) ok I still have weed killer with gun I was shooting at wasps they fell as airplane go down after shot down. One week later I saw other wasp nest inside of grill so we were preparing for bbq so I turned stove on then close for 15 minutes all wasp nest was gone.
Few days later I found other wasp nest by door, I knew what had to do. Then I went to garage to get chrome polish for my motorcycle I sprayed at wasps all died instantly but it burned grass otherwise house was safe
I am nearly 67 years old and live on the farm I grew up on. I assure you these hornets are new to my area here in Indiana. They are aggressive. I got them in my house in 2009. It was the first time I had seen them. I assure you they are here and denying so does not alter the facts. They are new to my area and I am sure they are the Asian hornet. I took one of them to the county extension office and they had never seen anything like it. That ought to tell you they are not something we have had for years.
In Southern China, some national minority take them as delicacies, their larvae and young tests good. SO people over there try to raise it artificially. On the other hand this giant hornets has some beneficial effect for their killing vegetables and fruit pests, especially forest pests.
Please stop insulting those of us who have been stung or attacked by these bugs. I don’t care if you call it a Japanese Hornet, a European Hornet, or a Cicada Killer. These are big, they are mean, and they ARE aggressive. I am NOT paranoid. I am a born and raised country girl, and I do not shock easily. I garden and I fully appreciate those insects that make our world better.
That being said, I will continue to kill any of these bugs that come into my house. One sting is all you need to get off your high horse and grasp reality.
I’ve seen no entomologist documented reports of Japanese giant hornets in North America. We do have somewhat smaller hornet varieties and should be avoided especially when close (a quarter mile or less) from their nest. Cicada killers are being misidentified as giant hornets. Examining images of these 2 species on Google images leaves no doubt as to the appearance differences. The killer is far less likely to sting than just about any other wasp type in North America. If stung, it’s wisest to get hit just after it has attacked a cicada, when its venom levels are depleted! The most dangerous wasp on a one to one basis is the common red wasp, polistes Carolina. Extremely aggressive with a sting described as a “flaming torch of agony,” it should be seriously avoided, especially nests in the wild, which can contain upwards of 400 very dangerous individuals—as dangerous as a hornet nest.
I can guarantee you 100% we have these in VA. They were all over the apples under a tree in my yard. I was walking by and was stung on the pinky. I have been stung lots of times in the past by many other types of bees.
This was by far the most painful and instantly my pinky swelled to the size of my thumb. I have been icing it for a couple of hours and every time I remove the ice, it throbs like there is a knife stabbing me. I have seen them for years and this is the first time I have ever seen them be aggressive.
I live in GA and I have to say you cannot go a day without seeing one of these humongous insect I myself have been stung in the arm and it hurts so bad it starts to burn really badly then everything swells my whole arm was swollen in a matter of minutes basically if u see one of them don’t mess with it move away its like the worse pain in the world to be stung so stay away.
The first time in 15 years we have “giant hornets” swarming our lights on porch and at times are in the house. My nephew was stung while in the house and the pain was excruciating. The next day he saw them flying into our chimney. This morning we built our first fire in fireplace and the giant hornets flew down the chimney (some I am sure flew out of chimney) and invaded the house. I must have killed over 200. And at the same time the smoke from chimney was filling the house as the hornets nest must have been so large that the chimney would not draw properly.
These are definitely “giant hornets.” Some of the doggone hornets are as long as my thumb and as big around as my thumb!!