Deadly Asian hornets are making their way to Britain, and they are no ordinary hornets. A sting from an Asian hornet can kill a person within minutes. Will this Asian hornet invasion significantly raise the death poll in Britain?
Asian hornets are five times larger than wasps and have already killed six people in France. The venom from an Asian hornet is so powerful that it causes a person to go into anaphylactic shock within minutes of being stung.
A woman from Sampford Chapple explains her terrifying experience.
“I was terrified. I just don’t do insects. I was in the lounge and we have got a wood burner, and I kind of heard something in the burner. I didn’t pay any attention to it, but then I heard a noise outside of it and saw something crawling on the window sill. I thought to myself, that’s huge, that must be a cockroach, but it had wings. My phone was out and I took a video and nearly swore.”
Queen Asian hornets can grow to be 30mm, and the worker bees are typically 25mm. The chairman of the Norfolk Beekeepers Association, Carolyne Liston, describes the Asian hornet as very aggressive.
“They are a very, very aggressive predator. They wait by the entrance and grab foraging bees as they come back into the hive. They can absolutely decimate bee colonies. We are concerned they are going to come into Britain on someone’s caravan who has been traveling in France.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) mentioned not to confuse the Asian hornet with the Asian giant hornet, which is even larger and deadlier.
Asian hornets can be a threat to honeybees as they feast on them, killing thousands. Tech Time reveals that Asian hornets kill up to 50 honeybees per day. Asian hornets are also said to be the culprit of bird extinctions and cost the United Kingdom $2.37 billion to control.
What do Asian hornets look like? Asian hornets are described as having a wingspan of more than 7cm. They have a dark abdomen and many faint yellow stripes.
How did the Asian hornets make their way to the UK? Over a decade ago, Asia accidentally shipped some Asian hornets to France in some pottery, thus leading to the spread of the deadly hornets. The Asian hornets traveled into other areas including Spain, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and Portugal.
James Roberts, 35, spotted an Asian hornet in Northfleet.
“I felt something big pass by my back, and at first thought I was stung, but I wasn’t. I went back inside and it must have followed me in. I then noticed it trapped behind the kitchen curtain near the sink. I gave it a whack with a rolled up newspaper and it flew off to die in the basin. People should be vigilant that these things have made it to the UK. They could have settled in the winter and made their own nests. Once you attack one of those things, it goes for you.”
Another Asian hornet was spotted in Hastings by Chris Taylor.
“It flew past me as I opened the door to the postman and I thought, what the he** was that? It landed on my kitchen table and I just stared at it and hoped it would fly back out the door. There was no way I was going to try and whack it. It was about two-inches-long and looked pretty angry. In the end it found its way back outside and I slammed the door and closed all the windows. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Although it hasn’t been confirmed that Asian hornets have invaded Britain, they certainly are making an appearance. Will an Asian hornet invasion in Britain be inevitable?
[Image via Shutterstock]