We now have a photo of the killer hornets which have claimed the lives of at least 42 people in China.
Several unsuspecting victims have died when swarms of killer hornets came down on them including a mother and her son. Hundreds of villagers have been taken to hospitals to be treated for stings.
Many of the victims have died after being attacked while working in rice fields, but a man was reportedly killed after strong winds blew a nest over and caused the attack.
Authorities in China said the death toll has reached 42 with at least 1,600 being treated for stings at hospitals in rural areas.
One of the hardest hit areas is the city on Ankang, where 230 people have reportedly been stung and 19 of the deaths have occurred in the past three months.
The death toll could increase since there are scores of critically ill patients in area hospitals. The sheer number of injured patients from the killer hornets have prompted hospitals to set up a special panel specializing in bee stings.
The situation is so bad that the Ankang Fire Department has removed more than 300 nests since July in an effort to control the problem.
Experts believe the Asian giant hornet to be the species responsible for the deadly attacks. This particular bee grows to be about two inches long and the sting can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure, which may cause death.
The attacks happen each year, but this time it has worsened possibly due to warmer weather affecting the area.
— Adam Bray (@fisheggtree) October 2, 2013
According to the British publication Mirror, Ankang authorities say that between 2002 and 2005 there were a total of 36 deaths and 715 people were injured.
The invasion has prompted authorities to invest $1 million in an effort to get rid of the killer hornets which have a stinger measuring one-fifth of an inch in length.