Giant hornets reach North America

There are some scary insects in this world. Few of them are as scary and as venomous as the Asian giant hornet. These fearsome creatures are common in Japan and Korea but are now moving across the Pacific Ocean to the USA and Canada. The hornets kill around 40 people a year in Japan. They also destroy and wipe out colonies of honeybees. A hornet attack can leave piles of dead bees, most of them headless, in their beehive. A few dozen hornets can kill an entire colony of 30,000 bees in a few hours. Authorities in Washington State on the west coast of the USA have warned people to look out for the hornets. Beekeepers are now worried about their beehives.

The hornets are big. They measure about five centimeters in length. They also look scary. Washington bee breeder Susan Cobey said: "They're like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face." The sting of the hornet is extremely painful. A Vancouver beekeeper described the pain. He said: "It was like having red-hot thumbtacks driven into my flesh." He said the sting was "excruciating". The hornet's stinger is half a centimeter long. It can get through the protective clothing 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."