21:39 GMT24 November 2020
Listen Live
    Environment
    Get short URL
    499
    Subscribe

    A 54-year-old man in Santiago in Spain’s northwest Galicia region died Sunday after being stung by an Asian giant hornet.

    According to Euro Weekly News, the man died after discovering a wasp nest near a beehive he owned.

    Paramedics were called by the victim’s friend, also a beekeeper, who found the man on the floor close to the hive.

    Despite the quick response from paramedics, the man was declared dead at the scene. The insect reportedly stung the man on his eyebrow; however, no official cause of death has been detailed by health officials.

    The Asian giant hornet, which is the world's largest known hornet, is native to tropical East Asia, South Asia, Mainland Southeast Asia and portions of the Russian Far East. The insect has also recently been found in the Pacific Northwest of the US. 

    The species, which is also referred to as the “murder hornet,” has a 0.2-inch-long stinger which it uses to inject a venom known as a cytolytic peptide that causes tissue damage and can eventually lead to death. As with other insect stings, the venom is particularly dangerous if the victim is allergic to it.

    Earlier this month, beekeepers in Washington state reported that Asian giant hornets, which frequently attack the hives of honey bees, were destroying their beehives and leaving clusters of headless bees in their wake. However, experts have dismissed fears about the hornets being very dangerous to humans.

    “The number of people who are stung and have to seek medical attention is incredibly small,” Washington Agriculture Department entomologist Chris Looney said in a recent interview with ABC News.

    “People are afraid of the wrong thing. The scariest insect out there are mosquitoes. People don’t think twice about them. If anyone’s a murder insect, it would be a mosquito,” University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum also noted. 

    Related:

    Panic Over ‘Murder Hornets’ Puts Bee Populations at Risk, Experts Say
    ‘Slaughter Phase’ of Asian Giant Hornet Poses ‘Catastrophic’ Threat to US Agriculture
    'King of Sting' Coyote Peterson Assures 'Murder Hornets' Unlikely to Spread Across US
    Graphic Video of 'Murder Hornet' Killing Mouse Resurfaces Online Amid Danger of Wasp Invasion in US
    Here Comes the Saviour: Praying Mantis Kills and Eats Murder Hornet in Graphic Video
    Tags:
    Spain, Death
    Community standardsDiscussion