Giant hornets reach North America

Few insects are as scary and as venomous as the Asian giant hornet. These fearsome creatures live in Japan and Korea but are moving across the Pacific Ocean to the USA and Canada. The hornets kill around 40 people a year in Japan. They also destroy colonies of honeybees. A few dozen hornets can kill an entire colony of 30,000 bees in a few hours. They take off the heads of the bees. Authorities in Washington on the west coast of the USA have warned people to be careful of the hornets. Beekeepers are worried about their beehives.

The hornets are big – about five centimeters long. A bee breeder said: "They're like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face." The hornet's sting is very painful. A beekeeper described the pain. He said: "It was like having red-hot thumbtacks driven into my flesh." The hornet's stinger is half a centimeter long. It can go through the clothes beekeepers wear. Another beekeeper said: "They give a warning before they sting. They snap their jaws and make a clicking sound. But if you stick around to notice that, you're probably already in a world of hurt."