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Asian Giant Hornets Kill 42 People In China, Injure Over 1,500

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the ok-you-have-my-interest dept.

China 274

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Madison Park and Dayu Zhang report on CNN that swarms of aggressive hornets are inflicting a deadly toll in a central China killing 42 people and injuring 1,675 people in three cities in Shaanxi province since July. Government authorities say these attacks are from a particularly venomous species, the world's largest hornet, known as the Asian giant hornet or vespa mandarinia. The giant hornet extends about 3.5 to 3.9 centimeters in length, roughly the size of a human thumb and has an orange head with a black tooth used for burrowing. The Asian giant hornet is intensely predatory; it hunts medium- to large-sized insects, such as bees, other hornet species, and mantises. The pain of the Asian Giant Hornet is described as a hot nail piercing the skin and lasts about 4 hours with instant swelling. One victim told local media earlier this month that "the more you run, the more they want to chase you." Some victims described being chased about 200 meters (656 feet) by a swarm. Local authorities have deployed thousands of police officers and locals to destroy about 710 hives but ""It's very difficult to prevent the attacks because hornet nests are usually in hidden sites," says Shunichi Makino, director general of the Hokkaido Research Center for Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute. Makino, who specializes in entomology, warned that the sting from an Asian giant hornet was severe compared with those of other insects. "The venom of an Asian giant hornet is very special compared with other hornets or yellow jackets," says Makino. "The neurotoxin — especially to mammals including humans — it's a special brand of venom." Asian Giant Hornets have been spotted in the United States."

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274 comments

Mothra? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024599)

Godzilla!!!

Oh when will they ever learn about the folly of man and pollution...

(Oh wait... they're japanese monsters...)

Re: Mothra? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024691)

Proof that even China has had enough of the H1B(ee)s.

Damn you Fukushima! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024605)

What's next? Carnivorous rabbits?

Re:Damn you Fukushima! (5, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 7 months ago | (#45024669)

Nah, those were exterminated in the 6th century using holy hand grenades.

Re:Damn you Fukushima! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024801)

Nah, those were exterminated in the 6th century using holy hand grenades.

True that. As documented here [youtube.com]

I'm not ashamed to admit (4, Funny)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | about 7 months ago | (#45024645)

I will openly admit, if I was attacked by those giant death machines I would move to another continent. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Re:I'm not ashamed to admit (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 7 months ago | (#45024729)

'An I said, "Oh lord Jebus, it's a hornet!" and I ran. I ran for my life!

Re:I'm not ashamed to admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025541)

TFS: The more you run, the more they chase you. Some victims described being chased about 200 meters (656 feet) by a swarm. (Why do they bother converting meters to feet? A meter is just a few inches longer than a yard, cant the average slashdotter divide by three? 200 meters is a little over 200 yards.

Re:I'm not ashamed to admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025023)

I suggest Australia.

Re:I'm not ashamed to admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025479)

I suggest Australia.

So from killer hornets to killer spiders eh ? That's not really an improvement.

Re:I'm not ashamed to admit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025503)

Me too. I wouldn't even stop to get my shoes Jesus!!

Oh, hornets! (4, Funny)

allsorts46 (1725046) | about 7 months ago | (#45024675)

First time I read this headline, I missed that 'hornets' was plural and imagined a single, huge hornet on a murdering rampage across China.

Re:Oh, hornets! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024939)

Like that time I read about the giant butterfly terrorising Tokyo. Turned out to be an urban moth.

Re:Oh, hornets! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025057)

I hope you die.

Re:Oh, hornets! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025531)

I suspect he will, sooner or later.

Re:Oh, hornets! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025235)

well, i read "asian" as "alien" at first..

Tracker-Jackers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024703)

Ooh, life imitates art!

Photo of Vespa Mandarinia (5, Informative)

gsslay (807818) | about 7 months ago | (#45024727)

Be afraid...

http://imgur.com/TTrA9KS [imgur.com] ... be very afraid.

Re:Photo of Vespa Mandarinia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024893)

Gah, I just got the heebee jeebees just looking at those things, and they're already dead! I can't imagine being attacked by a swarm of them. (shudder)

Re:Photo of Vespa Mandarinia (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 7 months ago | (#45024989)

I think that it's about time for a Benelli/Raid co-branding exercise.

Re:Photo of Vespa Mandarinia (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 months ago | (#45025043)

I was thinking more along the lines of Kentucky Fried Chicken. They look suspiciously edible from a Chinese point of view.

Bonus points if they're an aphrodisiac.

Re:Photo of Vespa Mandarinia (4, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45025079)

Bonus points if they're an aphrodisiac.

Ask, and ye shall receive.. kinda.

From Wikipedia:

Recently, several companies in Asia and Europe have begun to manufacture dietary supplements and energy drinks which contain synthetic versions of secretions of the larvae of Vespa mandarinia... The manufacturers of these products make claims that consuming the larval hornet secretions (marketed as "hornet juice") will enhance human endurance because of the effect it has on adult hornets' performance

Re:Photo of Vespa Mandarinia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025305)

>> Bonus points if they're an aphrodisiac.

And endangered.

Re:Photo of Vespa Mandarinia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024995)

Well, on the upside, now we have a reason to own a 10 gauge shotgun...

Re:Photo of Vespa Mandarinia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025095)

A tennis racket would be far more effective.

Re:Photo of Vespa Mandarinia (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025179)

You obviously never seen me play. Not every tennis racket is attached to a Sharapova...

Re:Photo of Vespa Mandarinia (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025115)

This link [vespa-crabro.de] is a little more informative/interesting than the Wikipedia article. In particular, the Vespa mandarinia venom is actually less toxic than honeybee (Apis mellifera) venom, it's just that the wasps deliver lots more venom than honeybees do.

I saw this in a movie once. (5, Funny)

stewsters (1406737) | about 7 months ago | (#45024733)

Badgers eat hornets. We will ship you a box of angry badgers for to expose to giantism causing Fukashima radiation. If I have learned anything from my childhood, its that the solution to giant monsters is more giant monsters.

At least they died doing what they love. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024779)

Stinging people. Hornets love it. But it kills them...or is that bees?

Re:At least they died doing what they love. (4, Informative)

mjr167 (2477430) | about 7 months ago | (#45024907)

Bees. Hornets can keep stinging you until they get bored.

Re:At least they died doing what they love. (4, Informative)

Xphile101361 (1017774) | about 7 months ago | (#45024947)

That is bees.... hornets get to sting you over and over and over again.

Re:At least they died doing what they love. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025453)

And to make it worse they send out a "come sting this person" signal, to the rest of their buddies.

I'm scared! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024781)

The Asian giant hornet is intensely predatory; it hunts medium- to large-sized insects, such as bees, other hornet species, and mantises.

And now since their food supply is rapidly disappearing due to the devastating global declines in bee, hornet, and praying mantis populations, the giant hornets are preying on the only plentiful sources of food they have left: humans!!

Re:I'm scared! (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about 7 months ago | (#45025281)

the giant hornets are preying on the only plentiful sources of food they have left: humans!!

No, that's the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the hornets simply freeze to death.

What about Super Hornets (3, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | about 7 months ago | (#45024791)

I'll bet the FA18D and E Super Hornets have killed more than that in Iraq and Afghanistan

Re:What about Super Hornets (4, Informative)

TCPhotography (1245814) | about 7 months ago | (#45025259)

I'd mark you funny, but only the E, F, & G* versions of the F/A-18 are the Super Hornets. the A-D version are just the Hornet.
*The EF-18G is the Electronic Warfare version of the Super Hornet, but it can carry anti-radiation missiles** so it can kill people.
** Missiles that target radiating sources such as Radars.

The next Syfy movie plot (4, Funny)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 7 months ago | (#45024795)

China is being overrun by killer giant hornets, and the only thing that can stop them is a government created sharknado. The sharknado then starts eating people after they eat all the hornets.

Re:The next Syfy movie plot (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#45025513)

Take out the sharknado idea and it could very well be one of those B-grade apocalyptic movies. Giant hornets taking over the planet.

Hmmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024825)

Sounds like the perfect pet for ex-wives, lawyers, patent trolls and politicians

Hysteria! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024845)

> Asian Giant Hornets have been spotted in the United States."

Hooray! Time to cue up the yakety sax music, because we can soon enjoy more comedic mass-hysteria from the clowns across the pond. I can hardly wait to see the fearmongering 24 hour news stations frothing about this. I can already picture the interviews with tearful, terrified suburbanites jostling outside supermarkets in order to panic-buy insecticides, canned food and bullets by the SUV-full. I confidently predict that at least an order of magnitude more Americans will be killed in absurd, slapstick hornet-panic-related accidents/arguments than by the hornets themselves.

Of course, even if some of these creatures are in the US, the chances of encountering one - much less being killed by one - will be less than that of being hit by lightning while clutching a winning lottery ticket, but when did USAians ever let reality get in the way of a good old fashioned hysterical panic?

Land of the Free, Home of the Brave! Hahahahahah!

Re:Hysteria! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024891)

Uh huh. And you believe your *inset nation* will handle things any differently (minus the guns)? And honestly now, guns... for dealing with thousands of tiny insects... Do try to keep your imagination in check good sir/madame. No one is that dumb.

Re: Hysteria! (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 7 months ago | (#45025009)

We use flame throwers to fight insects. At least that's how we fight killer bees, it's quite effective.

Re:Hysteria! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45025159)

And honestly now, guns... for dealing with thousands of tiny insects...

TINY??? Have you seen one of those things? They're fuckin' huge!!!

Do try to keep your imagination in check good sir/madame. No one is that dumb.

Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

Re:Hysteria! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025387)

> And you believe your *inset nation* will handle things any differently (minus the guns)?

Yes, I sincerely do. America has a massively irrational fear-button that doesn't ever seem to get desensitised, no matter how often the media and government press it. If the mainstream US media decides to pick this hornet thing up and run with it, you'll see most or all of the following:

- Mass-persecution of harmless bees, wasps, flies and anything else that might be mistaken for a killer hornet of doom.
- Idiots panic-buying houseloads of shit for no reason (default american reaction to any major event: Quick! Buy Shit!)
- People barricading themselves in their homes/ cars
- suffocating inside their homes/cars because by "hornet-proofing" a space they made it airtight
- accidentally poisoning themselves with insecticides in improperly-ventilated areas,
- Local governments / school boards/ uni campuses etc passing asinine hornet-related local ordinances
- shooting/ killing one another in hornet-related disputes
- Crashing their cars because they thought the bee in the car with them was a killer hornet.
- shooting at (real or imagined - but almost certainly the latter) killer-hornet nests
- Accidentally setting fire to their homes/ neighbourhoods while trying to burn/ smoke out (real or imagined) killer-hornet nests
- Attempting to shoot at (real or imagined) hornets (leading to accidental shootings of people, pets and livestock)
- deliberately killing themselves out of sheer terror (to be fair, these people tend to be genuinely mentally ill and would have found some other excuse sooner or later) ...
- shooting at (real or imagined) Chinese people (because obviously this whole hornet thing is their dirty commie terrorist fascist fault)

keyboard cat is going to have a hell of a job keeping up with all this.

>guns... for dealing with thousands of tiny insects....No one is that dumb.

I wasn't really suggesting that they'd buy the ammo to shoot the hornets, just that the mdeia escalates every scare-story up to the level of "imminent apocolypse" and that provokes americans to empty the supermarketrs of canned food and ammo. That said, never underestimate the dumb: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=shoot+at+wasps+with+gun

Numbers are less sensational (5, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#45024847)

Before you get worried, keep in mind there's little danger here even if you are in China. There have been 1500 injuries, but keep in mind this is a country of 1.3 billion people. That's 0.0011% of the population. 5.1 people per 100,000 in china die from traffic related accidents, which comes to 0.0051%.

You are five times more likely to be killed by a car than you are to get STUNG by one of these things, assuming you are in China.

Don't panic. Unless my numbers are off, which is entirely possible... wait, carry the seven...

Re:Numbers are less sensational (1)

ebubna (765457) | about 7 months ago | (#45024973)

not only this but if you check ye olde wikipedia about these jerky animals they regularly kill 30 to 40 people in japan

Re:Numbers are less sensational (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#45025117)

Yes yes, you take enough area outside the area it becomes small. If you look at all the deaths that have every been, car accidents would be a tiny percentage. That doesn't mean you should take proper precautions when in a car.

Re:Numbers are less sensational (4, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | about 7 months ago | (#45025539)

You are five times more likely to be killed by a car than you are to get STUNG by one of these things, assuming you are in China.

Only five times? As someone that just got back from Beijing, I'm surprised I wasn't killed in a traffic accident. Crossing the street is taking your life in your own hands and a taxi cab will turn any atheist into a devout believer.

There's that old saying about there are no atheists in fox holes... well, hop in a Beijing cab and you too will pray for a safe passage. And yes these are the official taxis not the unlicensed ones.

Release the Drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024851)

Part of me can't wait until I can purchase a bunch of tiny flying robots and hunt bee/hornet nests on my property from the safety of my living room.

shotguns! (2)

jdigriz (676802) | about 7 months ago | (#45024857)

4 cm across? I say use birdshot on the swarms. Just watch your backdrop.

Re:shotguns! (3, Interesting)

swb (14022) | about 7 months ago | (#45025123)

Common shot used for actual birds would be too big (eg, #4).

I would actually consider using small sized shot used for clays, like #7.5 or even #9. You get very short range but a TON of pellets.

You could even consider developing a 3" magnum load with this shot for even larger shot strings.

Re:shotguns! (3, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 7 months ago | (#45025135)

I'm afraid that would be like punching holes through clouds. I would bait them with poisoned prey, which they would haul back to their difficult to find nests. Some kind of slow poison, so it makes it back to the nest. Then it would slowly kill the rest of the brood.

How about using radioactive waste . . . ? Or might that have some other unforeseen consequences . . . ?

The best defense (4, Funny)

snsh (968808) | about 7 months ago | (#45024867)

To protect against hornets, carry around a vacuum cleaner. Nothing can live inside a vacuum.

Re:The best defense (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about 7 months ago | (#45025075)

Actually, this is not a bad idea... at least on a small scale.

If sucked into a vacuum cleaner, the violence of being sucked into and probably bounced around the hose as it gets pulled in would likely break its legs and almost certainly damage its wings to the point that it would no never be able to fly again (if not actually tear one or both of them right off). After being thrust into a pile of of dust in the vacuum bag that is *extremely* dry, where it could actually pull moisture right out of the bug's body, most insects would die extremely quickly.

656 feet? (1)

crow (16139) | about 7 months ago | (#45024911)

Another reporter slept through science class and failed to remember the concept of significant digits.

Clearly a witness who claimed to have run 200 meters was estimating, so there's at best one significant digit. It would have been much better to use "(over 600 feet)" as the conversion. Or why not go with "(656 feet, 2 and 1/64 inches)?"

Re:656 feet? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#45025059)

Because they don't use some backwater measuring system like 'feet'.

The rest of your post is nonsense.

Re:656 feet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025065)

Under what circumstances would a reporter even be in science class?

As someone who is generally an environmentalist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45024925)

... why do I have no problem with committing genocide on this particular creature?

Does that make me just as bad as people who don't care about the harm we are doing, steadily destroying more and more habitats for creatures of all types?

Re:As someone who is generally an environmentalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025021)

You WASP!

Re:As someone who is generally an environmentalist (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 7 months ago | (#45025499)

Nah, don't worry about it. Concern for species is irrelevant. Before you are dead we will have resurrected recently dead species like dodo and mammoths and teeny horses. We will be able to resurrect frozen neanderthals if we have some.

And before your kids are dead, we will have complete life DNA simulation built into computers.

All worries are silly in a historical context.

Re:As someone who is generally an environmentalist (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025521)

Does that make me just as bad as people who don't care about the harm we are doing...

No, it makes you a wasp. The other AC had it right.

I do admire the Chinese (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#45024943)

Some victims described being chased about 200 meters (656 feet) by a swarm.

I do admire the Chinese.Just think - being chased by a deadly hornet and still measuring the distance run with such accuracy.

Re:I do admire the Chinese (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#45025097)

You can't tell when you have run 200 meters?
If it's downtown, I can tell yo how far I have run to within 1%. Better then that if I can look at my cell phone

Re:I do admire the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025263)

A 1% error is not impressive. The typical Slashdot reader can tell you exactly how far he has run in the last month with 100% accuracy.

Re:I do admire the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025437)

A 1% error is not impressive. The typical Slashdot reader can tell you exactly how far he has run in the last month with 100% accuracy.

What, 0 meters?

Re:I do admire the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025105)

Good point. When was the last time you heard of a Chinese Space Program mission failing due to faulty US Customary/Metric conversion?

They're clearly a superior breed. That's why the US had to genetically engineer those hornets. To keep them off-balance and running.

Nature's natural population control. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025011)

Let the hornets be, working as intended. Keeping humans out of places they should not be and culling an unfortunate few who were to stupid to stay away from the agressive critters. Nature has a rule that works 9 time out of 10... If it is bright, flashy, and does not give a single frack about your presence. .. stay away or face the consequences.

Re:Nature's natural population control. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025101)

I knew nature was up to something.

Re:Nature's natural population control. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025129)

You actually need to RTFA. Giant Asian Hornets attack without provocation, from significant distances away. Not only that, if you run, *they will see that as a sign to chase you down.*

Re:Nature's natural population control. (2)

mark-t (151149) | about 7 months ago | (#45025309)

Or... you know... we could just kill them as we encounter them. May the better species win.

crazy (1)

eyenot (102141) | about 7 months ago | (#45025077)

i bet these hornets are more of a worry in canada than in the united states.

no matter where they hide in the united states, unless it's death valley, people are going to run into them and report the fact that bugs the size of their head have been spotted.

if these go into canada and can survive there, they can easily find plenty of space to reproduce for many generations unnoticed and undisturbed. by the time they're encountered they'll be numerous.

i imagine they will move into the giant beaver dam that's up there. and eat all the beavers.

Re:crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025269)

Giant hornet bee meet Canadian winter

Re:crazy (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 7 months ago | (#45025333)

I don't think you're really familiar with the United States. Sure, we have a significantly denser population than Canada, but the US still has extremely vast areas of few or no people. There's still places you can travel hundreds of miles without seeing any sign of civilization. And not just the deserts of the Southwest... every region of the country has at least a few large tracts of land that humans have barely wandered through in all of history, nevermind living memory.

Killing 42 people in China... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45025253)

Killing 42 people in China is like killing, what, 10 people in the US? We probably kill that many people every day from slipping in the bathtub. My understanding of this from other articles is that the attacks have occurred because there is new development in the hornet's area. That means this is likely a transient effect as the environment will be modified by the new development. In 10 years the hornet attacks will be a distant memory, unbelievable folklore told by old timers in the developed area.

Spotted in Australia (2)

AdamStarks (2634757) | about 7 months ago | (#45025467)

Reports indicate the Asian Giant Hornet was briefly spotted in Australia. Upon arriving the colony looked around, said "Fuck me...", and promptly returned to Asia.

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