This bee is responsible for 30-40 deaths per year. In 2013 alone, it injured over 1,600 people. It's called the Asian giant hornet, and here's what you need to know if you're ever stung by one.
What is it?
The Asian giant hornet, or Vespa mandarinia, is known as the world's largest hornet. It's also referred to as the yak-killer or the giant sparrow bee. It extends to about 3.5 to 4 centimeters in length, or roughly the size of a human thumb. The hornet carries a 6 mm stinger that injects a large amount of potent venom. Its sting has been described by an entomologist as feeling "like a hot nail being driven into my leg."--Masato Ono, Entomologist, Tamagawa University
Where are they located?
These giant hornets are found throughout East and Southeast Asia, in countries such as China, Korea, India, and Nepal, although it's most common in rural Japan, where it's called the "giant sparrow bee."
How will it kill you?
A sting from an Asian giant hornet can be lethal even to people who aren't allergic to bees. The sting sends an influx of venom into your body containing a neurotoxin called mandaratoxin (MDTX). This causes kidney (renal) failure and eventually leads to death. In addition, those allergic to bees may suffer from anaphylaxis, which cause airway closure or cardiac arrest. Victims of stings are known to have deep, dark crater-scars the size and shape of bullets.
How to survive:
If you're stung by an Asian giant hornet, you must be rushed to a hospital immediately, especially if you're allergic to bees, as your time frame for seeking medical attention is even more limited. At the hospital, you will undergo dialysis in order to eradicate the hornet's poisons from your body. Stitches may also be necessary in order to close up the massive holes left by the hornet's stinger. If you see a hornet nest, stay far away from it.
So which energy drink uses liquids secreted by the Asian giant hornet as a primary ingredient in its recipe?
VAAM, which stands for Vespa Amino Acid Mixture, uses the same liquids secreted by the hornet larvae in its drinks to "boost human stamina and slow down lactic acid build up."
So would you rather…be stung by an Asian giant hornet? Or suffer from mercury poisoning?