Killer Hornets in China
Posted on October 23, 2013
Chinese officials are fighting back against giant hornets which have killed 42 people and left 1,600 injured. In China’s northern Shaanxi province, whole cities have been terrorized by the world’s largest hornet. This hornet has started attacking people. Now government officials have started fighting fire with fire – literally – by burning and gassing the thumb-sized bugs out of their hives.
Workers wearing protective clothing have moved in to eradicate the nightmare insects before any more people are injured. Horrific pictures have emerged of wounds the size of bullet holes left in the arms of victims after being stung.
Over the past three months the cities of Angkang, Hanzhong and Shangluo have been worst affected. Experts have suggested the high number of attacks this year could caused by a growth in habitat or unusually warm weather making the hornets more agitated.
Victims say these hornets can chase people for up to 600ft after attacking. The poison in the stings can lead to anaphylactic shock and kidney failure when receiving at high doses. Until government specialists arrived, locals have been trying to tackle the wasps themselves. The aggressive animals will feed on honeybees, severing their heads, wings and legs before carrying the body back to their young.
Attacks on humans are rare and specialists are unable to fully explain why this year has seen so many cases. Theories include increased plant growth boosting the number of the insects, and unusually warm weather making the creatures more disturbed.
September and October is the breeding season for the big bugs, meaning now is when they are most active. These insects are an aggressive and predatory animal, however, and will send out scouts to look for honeybee hives for them to colonize. When one is found, the scout will leave a pheromone trail, which other hornets will then follow, before using their jaws to decapitate the bees. After slaughtering thousands of the much smaller creatures, the hornets will then take over the nest for themselves. The hornets use their powerful sting, jaws, and superior size to kill up to 30,000 bees in a couple of hours.
The species has already spread to France and fears are growing that giant Asian hornets are headed for Britain. The thumb-sized insects have been attacking people and experts struggle to explain why. The deadly species are four times the size of British honeybees and have been known to wipe out entire hives as they look to claim the nest as their own.
The dark invaders with yellow feet are thought to have arrived in France in a delivery of Chinese pottery from the Far East in late 2004.
Article Source: The Daily Mail, written by Chris Pleasance