World's Biggest Hornet: Insect Behind Deadly Attacks
Experts unsure why aggressive insects are attacking people.
Some 1,600 others have been injured since the outbreak of the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) began in July, the regional health authority reported, and attacks continue even as local authorities take action, including destroying hundreds of hives and improving medical treatment for victims. (Watch a video of "hornets from hell.")
"The problem with this particular hornet is that it's big, sort of thumb-sized, and it packs a lot of venom," said entomologist Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology at the University of California, Davis.
"And its nests get fairly large, including maybe several hundred individuals. They are aggressive, they are predatory, and they have been known to kill and eat an entire colony of honeybees," she said.