As a fan of monsters, and animals, and monstrous animals, I like learning about obscure or scary beasts.
However, the giant asian hornet is not a curiousity to be admired and talked about in polite company while you eat finger food and sip a nice bottle of Riesling from the Rhine Valley.
No. The giant asian hornet is making the great white shark look like a toothless poodle right now.
Sharks kill a handful of people each year. Dogs and cow (yes, cows) actually kill far, far more humans. So yes, JAWS was a great movie, but we really have more to fear from Spot the Dog and Bessie the Cow than any shark, which is apparently smarter and more concerned with eating, I don’t know, fish. Maybe because fish don’t have boats and spearguns and nuclear weapons.
These hornets, though, are armored flying spaceships. Which hate you.
Check out three headlines that I’m not making up:
- Deadly hornets kill 42 people in China, injure over 1,500
- Giant Asian Hornets Are Killing People In China, Breeding In Larger Numbers
- Asian Giant Hornet Kills 28 In East Asia, Also Spotted In US
Now, we had a scare years ago with killer bees, which some genius brought from Africa to breed with his honeybees. Killer bees are bad enough, and they’ve been marching up from South America or whatever since forever until they reached Texas and Oklahoma and other states where rodeo is still a thing. But the thing with killer bees is (a) they can’t handle cold weather, (b) they keep interbreeding with honeybees, diluting their killer street cred and (c) bees can only sting you once.
I know all about this. I was allergic to honeybees and nearly died as a pookie. Had to take shots for years.
Hear me know and believe me later in the week: Honeybees, even killer bees, are nothing compared to hornets. Except for honeybee queens, which duel each other like it’s 1779, your average honeybee know stinging somebody is a suicide mission. They have barbed stingers and nailing somebody means killing themselves, since the barb stays in along with half their abdomen in a lot of cases. So honeybees are actually pretty nice. You usually have to step on them, or threaten the hive, for them to sting you.
Hornets are different. They’re the honey badgers of the bee-wasp world. Why? Because they have smooth stingers instead of barbed one. Also, they’re just jerks. They’d shut down the honeybee government if they could, just to show how tough they are.
Stinging you once is just a hornet saying hello. They’ll happily sting you five bazillion times, because there are no consequences. Zero, aside from using up their venom. But hey, they’ll make more.
Can they be stopped? Maybe. Not sure how. A pile of AR-15s isn’t going to do you any good. Fly swatters don’t feel like they’d be real effective. Maybe we all should invest in a thick beekeeper’s suit and practice soaking a pair of oven mitts with Raid.
Either way, you know the people who made SHARNADO are reading these headlines and writing a script.