Swarms of giant killer hornets in China have stung and terrorized people since July of this year, mostly in Shaanxi province.
Some 42 people have died and about 1,675 Chinese injured by the highly venomous vespa mandarinia species, the world’s largest hornet, according to reports.
Experts warn the venom from their sting can cause allergic reactions and multiple organ failure leading to death, and their stings leave deep dark craters the size of bullet wounds.
The Asian giant killer hornets (Vespa mandarinia), including the subspecies Japanese giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica), colloquially known as the yak-killer hornet, is the world’s largest hornet, native to temperate and tropical Eastern Asia.
They prefer to live in low mountains and forests while almost completely avoiding plains and high altitude climates. V. mandarinia creates nests by digging, co-opting pre-existing tunnels dug by rodents, or occupying spaces near rotted pine roots.
It feeds primarily on larger insects and honey from honey bee colonies. Some dimensions of this hornet are a body length of 50 mm (2 in), a wingspan of about 76 mm (3 in), and stinger of 6 mm (0.24 in) which injects a large amount of potent venom.
Vespa mandarinia is the only social wasp that recruits members of its hive to potential food sources through food recruitment signals.