Sunday, 29 September 2013


Killer Hornets Terrorize China
By Marc Lallanilla, Assistant Editor | September 26, 2013 04:55pm ET

A series of deadly hornet attacks has led Chinese officials to warn citizens to avoid walking through fields and wooded areas this year. At least 28 people have been killed, and hundreds seriously injured, when swarms of the stinging insects descend without warning on unsuspecting people.

The prime suspect in the killings is the Asian giant hornet — sometimes called the yak-killer hornet (Vespa mandarinia) — which can grow to be more than 2 inches (5 centimeters) in length, and has a quarter-inch-long (6 millimeters) stinger that delivers venom containing a potent neurotoxin.

The Asian giant hornet is the world's largest hornet, and is a voracious predator that dines on mantises, bees and other large insects. It has a deservedly evil reputation for wiping out entire hives containing thousands of honeybees by biting off the bees' heads and then stealing their honey and bee larvae. The hornets are capable of flying up to 62 miles (100 kilometers) in a single day at speeds of 25 mph (40 km/h). 

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