Beware of Suzumebachi Sign – Asian Giant Hornets in Japan

The Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) is the world’s largest and the most dangerous animal in Japan. These insects are called suzumebachi (sparrow bee) in Japanese and are a common sight during summer months from the high mountains to the forested edges of large cities throughout the country. The insects make their living hunting other insects and specialize in attacking honeybee colonies where they will kill all of the bees and consume the larvae. The native honeybees of Japan, however, are not without defense as they will sometimes ambush en-mass an intruding suzumebachi, covering the hornet with their own bodies. This causes the body temperature of the wasp and bees to rise, killing the wasp which has a lower maximum temperature tolerance than the bees. Imported commercial honeybees have no such defense and are easy victims to suzumebachi in Japan and other parts of Asia.

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~ by softypapa on January 8, 2012.

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