I have received hundreds of emails regarding my post Attack of the “Digger Bees”.
Many suggested getting an EpiPen® (epinephrine) Auto-Injector for Liz and we will do that.
Many pointed out that “digger bees” are not bees but rather wasps. That is something I knew but did not mention in my post.
I responded to some individuals that I like bees, and even have a “humble bumble” home for bumblebees, and I put out nests for mason bees.
With that backdrop, some of you may be interested in Giant Deadly Hornets Kill Dozens And Injure Hundreds In China.
Deadly hornets have killed at least 28 people in China following a string of recent attacks that have injured hundreds.
A number of tragic cases have been reported, including a mother and son who died after being surrounded by a killer swarm.
A man who tried to help them suffered kidney failure after the giant hornets chased him for 200 metres and stung him repeatedly on the head and legs, The Mirror reported.
In the city of Ankang alone, 18 people have died from the stings, while a further 212 people have been injured health official Zhou Yuanhong told Associated Press.
Experts are blaming the vicious attacks on Asian giant hornets, which terrifyingly grow up to 5cm in length. The mammoth insects also wield a stinger in excess of 6mm long.
The natural predators have jaws powerful enough to chew through regular protective bee suits and their venom, which they can spray, dissolves human flesh.
If their venom lands in the eyes, the eye tissue will melt, according to a National Geographic documentary.
Japanese Hornet Documentary
The documentary is a lengthy 45 minutes, but some may find it interesting. Link if video above does not play: Japanese Hornet Documentary.
Those giant “hornets” look like giant yellow-jackets to me. But yellow-jackets and paper wasps look alike. About.Com explains differences in a report on Wasps, Yellowjackets, and Hornets.
The vast majority of bees and wasps in our world pose no threat to people. Most prefer to go about their business, parasitizing or preying on other insects. The social wasps of the family Vespidae, however, can be a downright nuisance. Vespid wasps include paper wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets, all of which will defend their homes vigorously should we disturb them. Worse yet, they have a tendency to build their homes in the places we like to spend our time, so there’s a good chance you’ll encounter them.
Paper wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets are all masters of papermaking. In spring, the queen constructs a new nest by gathering wood fibers and turning them into a papery pulp, from which she builds a home. Paper wasps build open, umbrella-shaped nests, often found suspended from eaves or window casings on the outside of your home. Hornets are famous for their massive, enclosed nests which can be seen hanging from tree branches or other sturdy perches. Yellowjackets also make enclosed nests, but theirs are found below ground. Care should be taken to check for yellowjacket nests before using string trimmers or lawn mowers.
All the paper wasps, yellowjackets, and hornets produce new colonies each year in temperate climates; only the mated queens survive the cold winter months, tucked away in sheltered places. The queen emerges in spring, chooses a nest site, and builds a small nest in which she lays the first eggs. Once the first generation of workers matures, these wasps will expand the nest for succeeding generations. In late summer or fall, the old queen dies, and a new one mates before her siblings die off. The old nest usually degrades over the winter.
Behavioral Differences Between Wasps, Yellowjackets, and Hornets
The above table neglected bees.
Honeybees, bumblebees, and mason bees, etc., go after pollen. The things you see flying around at picnics, garbage cans, and especially sweets and sodas are yellow-jackets. They are an outright nuisance, and can be deadly.
As far as “dissolving flesh” goes, I can actually attest to that. On one hand I was stung three times and skin was gone in all three places. Other stings were simple swollen and itchy for over a week.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock