Monday, May 21

We're soon approaching Japanese Giant Hornet season again

Here is a new thing to add to my Kirai Japan list.

The Japanese Giant Hornet season is coming around again which is a shame because these guys are a force to be reckoned with. 90% of stings occur from July to September due to the worker bees increased size and activity especially around August (source).

An average of 40 people die from their stings every year making it the most lethal animal in Japan (video below). These Godzilla hornets have poison that is actually less venomous than the average honeybee, but they inject much more: 4.1mg compared to a honeybee's 2.8mg (source).

The Japanese call these guys Oosuzume bachi (オオスズメバチ, 大雀蜂) which literally means "Large Sparrow Bee". They grow up to 2 inches long and, with their ferocity, put normal hornets to shame. They have super-bee strength, too, being able to life up to 6 pounds each. 

Check out this video of a colony of bees outsmarting one of these Japanese Giant Hornets. Apparently, the beehive can handle a scout and hide the evidence of any foul play. 

This time the bees have won. But if one of these Japanese Giant Hornet scouts successfully alerts his friends with a pheromone, there will be blood. Here, 30 of these hornets wipe out a nest of 30,000 bees to get at their young. 

What should you do if you ever encounter one of these suckers? 

Well if it seems like it's coming near you, you should lower voice and and lower yourself to the ground as to not seem offensive. Then you should make your escape (source).

Apparently these guys have amazing endurance.They can fly faster than you can run (25mph)...and fly about 60 miles in a day. That's a scary thought. Also, with their pheromone capabilities, they could technically spray you with bulls eye for any other one of these hornets to hunt you down.

Their endurance is so phenomenal that the Japanese, as well as a few others, have marketed drinks made from these hornets' food.

Vaam, which stands for vespa amino acid mixture, contains the same amino acids that are in the liquids secreted by hornet larva (source). The hornets feed their colony larvae with the most meaty parts of other insects. But then, in a very unique occurrence, they actually get fed by their larvae as well.

Some athletes swear by these drinks. I had always seen Vaam in Japan, but had no idea of its contents. Now, I really want to test it out.

What a strange world.

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating and scary at the same time. I never want to encounter these so-called "Large Sparrow Bees". That name implies they are beautiful birds with a lovely song to sing.


You should probably engage in some conversation.