Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Bees From Hell

I'd like to tell you that this picture is a fake, that it's been photoshopped in some way to make the bee look bigger than it actually is, but I can't. I've seen a documentary on them and unfortunately that night-mare on wings is real. The Vespa mandarinia or Asian giant hornet or Japanese hornet is, sadly, all too real.

Here's just a few of it's better qualities, courtesy of Wikipedia:

* The venom contains at least eight distinct chemicals, some of which damage tissue, some of which cause pain, and at least one which has an odor that attracts more hornets to the victim.
* The venom contains 5% acetylcholine, a greater concentration than is present in bee or other wasp venoms. Acetylcholine stimulates the pain nerve fibres, intensifying the pain of the sting.
* Vespa mandarinia uses its large crushing mandibles, rather than its sting, to kill prey.
* The venom of the Asian giant hornet is more toxic than that of most other bees or wasps, giving this species one of the greatest lethal capacities per colony.
* The enzyme in the venom is so strong that it can dissolve human tissue.
* Like all hornets, V. mandarinia has a barbless stinger, allowing it to sting repeatedly.

I'm glad the biggest ocean on the planet is between me and that mofo. Somebody left the door to the HellMouth open...

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Come on, sailor. I love you long time.