30 Japanese Hornets Massacre 30,000 Bees

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Image: Hornetbot1970

Don’t try this at home: Stings are painful!

“All it takes is one. One enterprising scout to find the honey bee colony. Mark it with a pheromone. Return with a band of natural born killers. And make all hell break lose.” Sounds like the latest Tarantino? Close. It’s the beginning of a National Geographic video that documents the annihilation of 30,000 European honey bees by 30 (yes, 30!) Asian giant hornets. We’ve found out more about these bullies of the insect world.


Image: via cracked

Got you! Asian giant hornet with two honey bees

Five times bigger than your average European honey bee, the Japanese hornet is one of the insect world’s most feared predators. At 5 cm (2 in) long and with a wingspan of about 7.6 cm (3 in), there are not many insects that can get in its way. Though found throughout Asia, the Japanese hornet, a.k.a Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), is most common in Japan’s mountainous regions.

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Image: via mnn

They’re huge – and not always this tame

The Japanese hornet’s stinger is about 6 mm (0.25 in) long and able to inject an especially potent venom that can even damage tissue or disintegrate human flesh. A Japanese scientist who got stung described the sensation as feeling “like a hot nail being driven into his leg.” Ouch!

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