There are very few people if any at all who can say that they find hornets endearing. That because the only way a hornet is likely to endear itself to you is by a lashing sting so painful, enough to send a grown man screaming and seeking the nearest cover. A Japanese hornet can decimate 40 bees under a minute when it invades their colony. It is one of the worst enemies to any bee colony except the Japanese bee which has learnt to repulse these hornet attacks by creating heat balls from their flapping wings.
What is the Japanese hornet?
There are hornets and then there is the Japanese hornet. While no one would want to mess with any hornets nest, trust us when we tell you that no one in their right mind would even want to get close to the Japanese hornet.
The Japanese hornet is considered a giant because of it imposing size. For context and perspective, let’s consider the range of size in bees. The tiny stingless bee species workers grow less than 2 millimeters or 0.08 inches long while the female Megachilepluto which is considered to be the largest species of leafcutter bees can achieve a length of 39 millimeters or 1.54 inches. The Japanese hornets grow to be about 1.5 inches to 2 inches. The Japanese hornet queens are said to be significantly larger. This may not sound like a huge difference in size to a human being but in the scale of smaller insects, they are basically two to three times the size of different bee species and that is a massive difference. Should one have the misfortune of being stung by a Japanese hornet, your record will reflect that the difference in pain is several notches higher than that of a bee or wasp. It is often compared to being shot by a nail gun.
They deliver more venom per sting and therefore if attacked by a swarm it may be fatal if one fails to get to a hospital in time. Often victims die from anaphylactic shock if medical attention is not administered immediately. In Japan, these hornets are responsible for more deaths in a year than any other animal in Japan. Poisonous snakes kill about 10 people a year while Japan’s hornets kill approximately 40 people a year.
Japanese hornets are often mistaken for their larger cousins known as the Asian giant hornet. But in fact the Japanese hornet is slightly smaller than their counterpart and is a subspecies of the Asian giant hornet. Other than size the other difference is that the Japanese hornet is that is exclusive to Japan whereas the Asian giant hornet is found in far much larger geography across Asia including Nepal, China, Taiwan and Mongolia.
The Japanese hornets are not all doom and gloom as they are known to be beneficial to farmers because of the voracious appetite for bugs and insects around the farm. They are not aggressive unless provoked