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26 students stung by hornets in Kumamoto

18 Comments

Twenty-six elementary school students were stung and had to be taken to hospital after a swarm of hornets attacked them in Yamato, Kumamoto Prefecture.

The incident occurred at around 1 p.m. on Thursday, TV Asahi reported. A group of fourth graders from Kusunoki Elementary School were on a social studies field trip when they were suddenly attacked by a swarm of yellow Japanese hornets (Vespa simillima).

Police said none of the 26 students who were stung are in a serious condition.

According to local sources, yellow Japanese hornets are frequently sighted in the area where the incident took place, TV Asahi reported.

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18 Comments
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OUCH! OUCH OUCH!!!

Been on the receiving end of one of those attacks as a kid in elementary school and that was pretty traumatic back then. Those bloody little buggers keep stinging you unlike bees which can only get you once each. I hope they recover quickly and none were seriously allergic or majorly traumatized by that. My cousin was properly messed up by that and well into high school would still freak out if anything yellowish and buzzing approached and flew around him.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One word: FLAMETHROWER

It is most likely that these children are going to develop a fear of bees and hornets.

Why the hell would you even consider keeping animals capable of harming children near the school?

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@KnowBetter

I know for a fact that I can run faster than hornets can fly. Will agree interacting with them is not a pleasant encounter.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

grjkzz: "One word: FLAMETHROWER"

What are they going to do? burn down all of nature? It says they were on a field trip. It does not specify in or out-of-doors, so I'm going to assume they were at least outdoors at the time of being attacked. It's not the hornets' fault the kids were stung, they either provoked the hornets directly or were just unlucky and accidentally provoked them somehow. They weren't "keeping the animals" (and they're insects, as a point of order) at or near the school at all, and even if they were 'near' the school they can't do much if they can't find the nests, and even less if they find them in nature.

Without anymore detail it's impossible to say anyone or anything is to blame, and I'm glad none of the kids suffered any serious physical injury as a result of the attack. If you DO see a nest of these things, stay away! if it's in a place where you can't (ex. building a nest somewhere on your property), call the proper authorities to get rid of it. Don't hurt them and they won't hurt you.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@smithinjapan

Ah you're right. I didn't see the part about them being on a field trip. That's embarrassing.

Insects are animals so the use of the word is appropriate.

Also, "keeping" wasn't used to define them as actually keeping them as pets or something. I meant that they simply left them there, knowing it's potentially dangerous to children.

One more thing, why did you take the flamethrower thing so seriously?

Without anymore detail it's impossible to say anyone or anything is to blame

Seriously? Blame? Are you the type of person who thinks that there always needs to be someone to blame? I've been stung before and there was no reason I should've been. I never bothered any insect and I was just doing my own thing. Are you going to say it's my fault for peacefully doing my own thing?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@knowbetter "Little" is not a word that describes Japanese hornets. They are the largest hornets in the world.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Vespa simillima are not the largest hornets, but are prey to the Vespa mandarinia, or osuzumebachi, which are.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

These hornets are dangerous, but don't swarm unless they are disturbed. If you kill or excite one it releases hormones to alert the rest of the colony it is in trouble and the rest go into attack mode. My guess is, one of the kids tried to kill or possibly even capture one of the hornets and started a swarm attack. Kids should be educated from an early age about these monsters to avoid these attacks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I had heard of Osuzumibachi before my first long trip to Japan some years ago which added to my overreaction when I found a dead one in my apartments bathroom window upon moving in. I hope the kids make a full recovery, that's a nasty way to end a field trip.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

dont know if it was what they call here the susumebatchi but if the same they are pretty aggressive creatures and need little provocation to attack. saying has it here in hokkaido that a second sting later from one of the same bee/hornet can be life threatening , have been stung by one myself a number of years ago and yes very painful.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"Don't hurt them and they won't hurt you."

I dunno, one day I was sitting on a lounge chair in my family's backyard and a damn hornet or wasp decided to sting the back of my neck. That hurt!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"I know for a fact that I can run faster than hornets can fly."

If you can then you are the fastest human in the world; Japanese hornets have been clocked at 45kph.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Those yellow heads are some vicious hornets. I feel sorry for those kids.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@knowbetter "Little" is not a word that describes Japanese hornets. They are the largest hornets in the world.

Not the ones described in this article. From Wiki:

The yellow hornet (Vespa simillima), including the subspecies known as the Japanese hornet or Japanese yellow hornet (Vespa simillima xanthoptera) (キイロスズメバチ?), is a common hornet species in the Eastern Hemisphere. It should not be confused with the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), whose subspecies V. m. japonica is sometimes referred to as the Japanese giant hornet.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think they may be Kamakazi pilots reincarnated. Saw a species of them here in Okinawa.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thirty to forty people die in Japan every year after having been stung, which makes the Japanese giant hornet the second most lethal animal in Japan after humans. (Wikipedia)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every man for himself! Imagine all those kids running around like scalded cats. It could have been a lot worse if they were near a busy road or water.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The hornets in question were NOT the big ones otherwise this situation would have been much worse!

I have been around bees & hornets millions of times, nothing to worry about unless you mistakenly disturb them or foolishly try to mess with their nests. These kids out & about likely stumbled onto a nest & got stung, it happens, cant tell from the article how it went down but was likely a simple accident.

Also hornets become more aggressive in the fall so bit of a double whammy, hope they heal quickly!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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