At least 28 people in China have died this year after killer hornets swarmed and stung them. According to NBC News on Sept. 26, hundreds of others have been seriously injured, and the Asian giant hornet seems to be to blame.
The Asian giant hornets, often called yak-killer hornets, can be 2 inches long and their venom has a potent neurotoxin in it. These are no ordinary hornets, and Chinese officials are warning people to stay away from wooded areas and fields as a result. This type of killer hornet is the world's largest, and it has been causing most of its carnage in the province of Shaanxi.
Why are these killer hornet attacks escalating in frequency? It seems the weather has been hotter than usual, providing optimal breeding conditions. In addition, local laborers are heading more deeply into the rural areas that previously had been left to the wildlife to dominate.
Reports indicate that some victims have been stung as many as 200 times. Officials say anybody with more than 10 stings should seek medical assistance. Anybody receiving more than 30 stings needs emergency treatment.
These killer hornets are strong and determined, and they can travel large distances. While the Shaanxi province in particular seems to be a hotbed of casualties, many are monitoring the situation to see if the killer hornets manage to migrate and cause further heartbreak and devastation across larger areas.