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Monday, May 19, 2014

Suzumebachi

Suzumebachi is the Japanese name for the Asian Giant Hornet. In my previous post I mentioned that I called them "Yakuza". I included a Youtube link to this fascinating creature. Suzumebachi has the distinct reputation as being the "Most lethal animal in Japan." They can fly to a distance of 60 miles at a speed of 25 mph. The hornet is responsible for 30 to 40 deaths a year in Japan. The hornets can tear apart a bee hive in a few hours. If a single hornet is detected early, the bees (hundreds) can overpower the intruder by forming a tight ball around it. The bees fan their wings and increase the inside temperature and carbon dioxide of the ball to kill the hornet.

The Japanese have learned to live with Suzumebachi. Some very "unique" people even raise them as a crop. Yes, some Japanese eat the larvae raw or fry the adults and eat them like potato chips. They also put the insects into sake and drink them. Oh, and the spit from the Suzumebachi is a favorite athlete drink. If you don't believe me...just watch the video. The nests are collectors items if they are found intact. All of this sounds a bit too much for me. I have 10 to 15 of these buggers in the backyard trees and the dogs are afraid to go outside. I'm researching ways to make them go away before they decide to build a nest. At which point, we would have to hire someone to remove them. We were told that could cost around $300. Stay tuned...      George

2 comments:

  1. Just today I had one possibly scouting a new place to build a nest in my loft.

    Sitting at my desk by an open window, I see a Giant Aisian Hornet (suzumebachi) fly in, wander about the room (quite normal), inspecting my face from a few centimeters away (not as normal, and a little scary) and she disappears up through the hole in the ceiling that leads to my loft where there is already an old abandoned wasp nest twice the size of a basketball.
    About an hour later (another?) wasp flies in and heads up into the loft. It happens again one more time after that.
    Possibilities:
    1) It is the same hornet that either exited the room when I was not looking, or flew out a hole in the loft walls.
    2) They are three different hornets using pheromones to call their friends and they are now having a party up there (I don't think this is it, as it is nest building time)

    If it is the same one, going in and out, is it a queen who has found a place to build her nest and start a colony?

    If it is a queen, do I allow her to build the colony in anticipation of the delicious hornets and larvae I will get to eat in the event I manage to survive the summer?

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  2. I can't even imagine eating one of those things. Good luck with your new "friends".

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