It is the world’s largest hornet at approximately two inches long, this specie is native to Eastern Asia. The Suzumebachi or “sparrow bee” are a ferocious wasp which using minimal numbers can destroy an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours and plunder its bounty.
Suzumebachi, Tiger’s Head Wasp a.k.a. Giant Sparrow Bee
They have an abnormally large head and formidable mandibles, giving them an especially fearsome appearance. Here is The Incredible Hulk of a Killer Bee. Don’t make them angry. -You won’t like them when they’re angry!
Known in Japan as the ‘giant sparrow bee,’ these giant wasps seek other large insects, mantises and other hornet species to prey upon. They also seek colonies and hives of honey bees. Upon a lone scout or two having found a thriving hive, they emit a pheromone trail and wait for reinforcements of their kind to arrive. Carnage is soon to follow. Usually, only a dozen or so conspecifics are all that is required to mount an effective assault, then they attack! It is not even a fair fight, it is more of a massacre for 20 or 30 Asian Giant Hornets can obliterate a colony of 30,000+ honeybees within hours! Each Giant Wasp is capable of killing dozens of honeybees per minute. Their prize; the honey bee larvae and pupae, which they intend to carry away to feed to their own young.
Lacking any effective defense, the honeybee colony is doomed, fighting to the very last bee. Snipping honeybees in half with their giant mandibles, chopping off heads and crushing them with impunity are all part of the Asian Wasp’s battle strategy. Ordinary honeybees lack any organized or effective defense and the hive is soon lost to the invaders. The surrounding area will be littered with the dead and the dying honeybees by the thousands. The conquering Asian Giant Wasps will drink the honey from the now emptied honeybee hive and carry the helpless larvae back to their own nest to feed to their young. These wasps cannot directly digest the protein they have secured but instead feed the chewed up and regurgitated larvae pulp to their young, which in turn produce a clear liquid that the adults consume. This behavior is not uncommon among wasp species.
Asian Hornet in America: Attacking a Honeybee Colony
Their sting is especially painful to humans. Their venom contains chemicals that necrotize flesh, stimulate nerve cells that conduct pain signals and like all true wasps, their stinger is barbless. This means that they can sting repeatedly. Some people even have allergic reactions to the stings of these bees if stung enough times. About 40 people die every year in Japan due to Asian Wasp stings.