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Giant asian hornets - fiction vs reality 2019/3/10 13:37
I've been reading a lot about giant asian hornets and about how they have come to America. Because they tend to be an issue in Japan I thought someone who lives in Japan could be of help in answering my question. I've read so much conflicting information and I"m wondering what is true and what isn't. I've read that they tend to like parks and forests but then other sites have said there are hives in cities. I read a few articles that said they are excited by bright colored clothing and others that have said wearing black causes them to attack. I read a post answered by people in Japan who say that it's best to leave them alone and they won't attack unless they feel threatened, but then I've read articles in America that make it seem like they will attack for no reason at all. I've read conflicting things about what to do if you see one too. A few articles say not to run and to roll up into a ball and protect your head, but then I've read another where it says that only works if you haven't been stung and that if you have been stung you should run because more will be there soon to attack. If anyone knows the true answers to any of these I would love to hear them. Thank you so much.
by Jennifer (guest)  

Re: Giant asian hornets-fiction vs reality... 2019/3/10 18:51
Jennifer,

If we are talking about o-suzumibachi (and not kiiro suzumibachi, which are like Yellow Jackets)c

They like to nest near the root structures of dead trees or under piles of junk – where they are protected from the rain, since they nest in the ground. So city, forest, park – doesnft matter.

I wouldnft say that black will cause them to attack, but rather being disturbed causes them to attack. If disturbed, then a moving and especially moving black target will be stung over an immobile white target. Hence beekeepers, and hornet chasers wear white.

If you see them going about their business, and you havenft stomped around their nest or otherwise disturbed them, then it is best to leave them alone. However, if they are in a spot where others might come along and disturb them, then report their location so that a knowledgeable and skilled people can take them out.

I would never roll up in a ball since doing so makes it harder for you to run should that become necessary. They are not capable of knowing your intention, nor do they efeel threatenedf. But if you feel threatened because thsy are buzzing around you, or you have been stung – then it is best to make a hasty retreat.

When they sting, get netted, or get hit – they release an attack pheromone, and that pheromone causes others to come to the party. So if stung run, and keep running since the pheromone is on you and they are fast fliers. A half a mile would be reasonable. And as soon as you can, wash the site of your sting so that the pheromone is diminished.

I have never been stung and probably kill 500 or more each year while tending my honeybees, but I wear a proper helmet with netting and am covered with white, shoulder to shoe, including white gloves. In the autumn there can be five or more flying about as I open my hives, and I just go about my business, leaving them alone until I have finished. Then I net one or two, semi-squash them, and attach them to a sticky paper rat trap. They release their pheromone and soon the sticky paper is covered with caught hornets – while I move away.
by Paul (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets-fiction vs reality... 2019/3/11 02:24
They are NOT in the U.S., according to this article.
https://bygl.osu.edu/index.php/node/1148
by 888 (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets-fiction vs reality... 2019/3/11 04:32
Paul, thank you for your reply but what about wearing bright colors? Would they attack if I was wearing bright colors? Most of my wardrobe consists of bright colors. I couldn't possibly just wear white every day of my life.
by Jennifer (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets-fiction vs reality... 2019/3/11 05:01
Read all with Google translate.
http://www2u.biglobe.ne.jp/~vespa/

They also dislike specific smell, like perfume for women.
by GinCo (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets-fiction vs reality... 2019/3/11 05:19
I don't know about bright colors - but the key point is Do Not Disturb, and if you accidentally do - then beat a hasty retreat.

Also, I suspect that you will never encounter them. But if you want to do a test... take some red meat and place it on a tree branch or some place off of the ground where you can watch it. If the giant suzumibachi nest is nearby, you will see them come to eat within an hour or so.
by Paul (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets-fiction vs reality... 2019/3/11 05:26
In over 900 days in Japan, I havenft run into one.
by John B digs Japan rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets-fiction vs reality... 2019/3/11 14:19
Would they attack if I was wearing bright colors? Most of my wardrobe consists of bright colors. I couldn't possibly just wear white every day of my life.

Then donft. FRom the sounds of it you arenft even living in a place where you are likely to see one, let alone be attacked by one anyway, why are you worried about this?
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets-fiction vs reality... 2019/3/11 15:55
I'm a little confused by this as well. You are worried you might see one in the US? The Ohio State article linked above is very authoritative. I have been to Japan 8 times & I have seen two of these, both presumably from the same nest. While hiking from Magome to Nagiso in the Japanese alps. They paid me no notice at all.
by Stan Norrell rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets - fiction vs reality 2019/3/11 20:25
Here in Japan, in over 40 years of outdoors activities - hiking, camping, beekeeping - I have only seen one nest entrance. That is, only once was I close enough to a nest to cause a disturbance had I chosen to do so, or accidentally done so. And away from their nest, they pose no danger if left alone.
by Paul (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets - fiction vs reality 2019/3/12 01:21
Thanks everyone for you replies. See, the reason I'm so worried is because I'm confused about what is true and what isn't. When I read a post from people in Japan the hornets didn't seem that horrible. It seems like if you stay away from them you will be ok. But when I read articles about them in the US it makes it seem like they are horrific vicious creatures who will attack for no reason at all. The US articles talk about all the people that have been killed in Asia (Japan included) and the thousands that have been injured. It's very scary. I'm not sure if the articles are aiming to scare us (like maybe they're paid for by exterminators) or if they were true. That's why I posted this so I could ask what is actually true.
by Jennifer (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets - fiction vs reality 2019/3/12 05:55
Itfs not that the article was paid for by exterminators, Ifm not going to go as far to say that whatever youfve been reading is gfake newsh. But itfs a fact that they want your clicks, and making minor issues sound completely outrageous is one day to get them. The more foreign and unknown the topic, the easier it is to exaggerate. Japanese hornets are very foreign, very unknown. The fact that you donft seem to know anything about them is proof of this. I, as someone who has actually seen one in Japan, also know almost nothing about them. Not many people do, so itfs easy to scare them. What I can tell you is that the odds of you encountering and having a bad experience with one are close to zero, and that getting worried about it makes about as much sense as me, someone who splits their time 50/50 between Japan and the UK, worrying about poor food hygiene standards in Nepal.

You arenft going to be stung by a Japanese hornet.
by LIZ (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets - fiction vs reality 2019/3/12 06:14
Indeed. When there is alarmism that is shown to be unwarranted, one should carefully consider the source and improve their reading list.
by Paul (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Giant asian hornets - fiction vs reality 2019/3/12 06:47
Actually you are probably surrounded by at least 1 of the 3 most deadliest animals since all your life:
#3 Dogs
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_attack
And this doesn't even count humans on the list of most deadly animals, and the species of car drivers alone is more deadly than the #1 - mosquitos: https://www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/

All needs to be seen in perspective. But yes, if you are unfortunate enough to get stung by a hornet, it's not going to be pleasant, but getting mauled by a dog is just so much more likely. And been killed by a fellow human even more. A typical problem of risk perception: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_perception which is a perception problem we nearly all have. We don't leave our house fearing to not come home back alive because of a traffic accident every day we go out, but if the same number of people who get killed in car traffic accidents would get killed by mass shootings, airplane catastrophes, bear attacks or anything else, there would be no more planes flying, all weapons would have been banned (well, maybe) and definitely we would have exterminated bears.

So just relax and if you should ever visit Japan, no strolling off into the woods without a bear bell ;-)
by LikeBike rate this post as useful

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