Killer hornets China : kill 28 people in wave of attacks. There are a lot of people in China. There are also a lot of hornets. Believe it or not, 28 people have been stung to death by killer hornets in central China in the past 3 months. Nearly 600 others have been stung.
Hornet populations in central China have multiplied exponentially over the hot summer, causing problems for people in multiple provinces. Victims describe being chased hundreds of feet before being stung as many as 200 times.
Local authorities have promised to help patients pay for the treatment because of the heavy cost for the rural poor.
More than 230 people have been stung in the city of Ankang alone, which is the hardest hit with 18 of the total deaths in the past three months.
The spate of attacks has prompted the city’s hospital to set up a panel specialising in the treatment of hornet stings.
People in the cities of Hanzhong and Shangluo have also been killed and injured.
Ankang’s fire department has removed over 300 hornet nests from crowded residential areas since July in an attempt to address the problem.
Experts believe the culprits to be the Asian giant hornet, which grows up to 5cm long with a 6mm sting.
The giant hornets’ highly toxic stings can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure.
The attacks are an annual problem but have worsened this year, possibly due to warmer weather boosting breeding.
Between 2002 and 2005 there were 36 deaths and 715 people injured, according to Ankang police.
Li Jiuzhou, deputy director of the Shaanxi Bee and Wasp Industry Association, said that hundreds or even thousands of hornets could live in a single nest.
They attack humans only if disturbed, he added. But they are carnivorous and can quickly destroy bee colonies.