The Godzilla of Bees

I thought I was afraid of bees and wasps BEFORE I read this. Did you know that the Japanese hornet can reach up to 3 inches in length and can fly 50 miles a day? Did you know that 30 of them can decimate a colony of 30,000 honeybees in just a couple of hours (“In three hours, there are piles of limbs and heads and just fucking bits of things that could possibly have been alive at one point, and the hornets have stormed the hive and flown away with all the bees’ children. Who will then be eaten.”)? I swear I’m going to have nightmares.

From the article “The 5 Most Horrifying Bugs in the World:”

It’s the size of your thumb and it can spray flesh-melting poison. We really wish we were making that up for, you know, dramatic effect because goddamn, what a terrible thing a three-inch acid-shooting hornet would be, you know? Oh, hey, did we mention it shoots it into your eyes? Or that the poison also has a pheromone cocktail in it that’ll call every hornet in the hive to come over and sting you until you are no longer alive?

Think you can outrun it? It can fly 50 miles in a day. It’d be nice to say something reassuring at this point, like “Don’t worry, they only live on top of really tall mountains where nobody wants to live,” but no, they live all over the goddamned place, including outside Tokyo.

Forty people die like that every year, each of them horribly.

The article features more horrifying stories about insects, including army ants (“There are reports of animals the size of horses being overwhelmed and shredded by them. Go stand next to a horse and then think about what that means for you.”), botflies, bullet ants, and Africanized honeybees.


  1. Bender Bending Rodriguez

    The Japanese Hornet is a scary SOB, which just makes the Japanese Honeybee all that more of a badass mofo!

    Wicked awesome bee video

    “Japanese Honeybees can tolerate a temperature of 118 degrees. Their victims upper limit is 115.” So what do they do? Surround it and vibrate their bodies to a temperature of 117 degrees, cooking the hornet alive.

  2. K

    jeebus. just… jeebus. Any wonder why all those crazy monster movies came from Japan?
    And I’m sure you recall that botfly is why we all slathered ourselves with 100% pure flesh-melting DEET in Belize.

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