Brutal insect carnage
January 14, 2012 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Or, in contrast to this post, three and a half minutes bursting with DEATH.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've been following the Liminal State ARG so this just set off so many plate o shrimp alarms in my head.

posted by The Whelk at 11:34 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

How has this not been posted before? I remember it making the rounds a few years ago.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:35 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

The last few bees left must feel like the 57th guy who makes a run at Bruce Lee after watching the first 56 guys get their asses handed to them.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:37 AM on January 14, 2012 [12 favorites]

More like 30 Aliens take about 30,000 Hudsons, amiright?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:38 AM on January 14, 2012

Okay, but "Covered in hornets!!!!" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 11:38 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

I imagine that this is what a battle between 30 adults and 3000 6 year olds would look like.

Yes, I'm a monster
posted by Blasdelb at 11:42 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

This. is. Sparta!
/flings bee off hive
posted by babbyʼ); Drop table users; -- at 11:43 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

posted by nathancaswell at 11:43 AM on January 14, 2012

Damn Nature, You Scary!
posted by chillmost at 11:43 AM on January 14, 2012


It's been posted a few times in comments, too.
posted by empath at 11:45 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

There once was a man from St. Bees
Who was stung in the arm by a wasp.
When asked if it hurt,
He replied, "No, it doesn't,
But I'm glad that it wasn't a hornet."
posted by The White Hat at 11:46 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

This video will haunt my dreams.
posted by KeSetAffinityThread at 11:47 AM on January 14, 2012

They missed a tremendous opportunity to use Flight of the Valkyries in that video.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 11:50 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Begun, the hive wars have.
posted by damo at 11:50 AM on January 14, 2012 [6 favorites]

Watch 30 giant hornets take out 30,000 honey bees


(currently buzzing on creamed honey, refuse to believe we live in such a world)
posted by eddydamascene at 11:50 AM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

Man, fuck those hornets.

posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:53 AM on January 14, 2012 [16 favorites]

Couldn't watch, face cringed so hard in horror it pretty much imploded into itself and now I have no face holy shit fuck things with stingers.
posted by windbox at 11:54 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

out of curiosity, this is either entirely rendered or contains wholly-CG scenes, correct?
posted by radiosilents at 11:56 AM on January 14, 2012

With a pretty clear description of what this video is, there are those that will watch this, and those that won't.

Choosing NOT to watch this tells us exactly WHAT about a person? Anything? Nothing?

Choosing TO watch this tells us what?
posted by HuronBob at 11:57 AM on January 14, 2012

I wonder how these guys rate on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. Sounds like maybe a 3-4.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:59 AM on January 14, 2012

In case this post stands, here's how bees can defend themselves from hornets: heat balling (smothering the hornets and raising the temperature so high that the hornet dies, or by asphyxiating the hornets)
posted by dhruva at 11:59 AM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

Fucking hate bees.

Also, BEES?
posted by Evernix at 11:59 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]

What is this strange feeling? I feel... sorry... for bees.
posted by Splunge at 12:07 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's hard to appreciate how big the giant asian hornet (or oosuzumebachi, "great sparrow bee") is until you've seen one in person. They are enormous; the armored battlecruisers of the hymenoptera family. I'm talking two, three inches long, the size of a man's thumb, and not a small man, either.

They are also totally fucking fearless. They're an apex predator—that's right, just like the siberian tiger and the goddamn polar bear—so they cruise around with the utter badass impunity of the functionally invincible.

One of the awful, evil sons of bitches found its way into the second floor of my apartment back when I lived in Japan. I utterly flipped my shit, slamming the sliding doors closed and trapping it up there. That's where my bedroom was, and my drum set -- I could hear the fucker ricocheting off the cymbals as it made its furious patrol around the room.

My phobia of wasps combined with the sheer formidability of the thing meant that I couldn't bring myself to go back in the room. I slept downstairs that night, on the floor, head on a zabuton, and tried not to think about the monster above me. I went to work the next morning in the same clothes.

I finally dared to open up the room late that second day, and I couldn't find the thing. A week later, I finally found it on a shelf, curled up, dead from exhaustion, and got a really good look at the quarter-inch stinger. Terrifying.
posted by pts at 12:11 PM on January 14, 2012 [76 favorites]

I don't understand how this was filmed. Did they set up a camera inside the hive and two slow motion cameras on tracks outside and wait for years until something interesting happened?
posted by the jam at 12:13 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I couldn't click on this fast enough.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:15 PM on January 14, 2012

Sadly, I knew about these Japanese monsters before I was even ten.
posted by nrobertson at 12:16 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

We once had an giant wasp hive hanging about 3 feet from our living-room window ("Oh," the neighbours said, "your place has always attracted all different kinds of wasps and stinging insects").

The hive was actually hanging from a bush in the neighbour's yard, so the city couldn't actually remove the hive until the guy got back from an extended business trip.

A Facebook friend of mine lives in Nagano, and he gets these things in the house. If he encounters a wasp, he catches it and places it in some sort of alcohol solution that he uses as a spray in case he gets stung. His wife got stung earlier in the fall while opening the fridge, and the crushed-wasp antivenom seems to have work.

Dreadful things.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:17 PM on January 14, 2012

Dear sweet bleeding wheelchair jesus. That seals it: I'm moving to the Arctic Circle. Nope, nope, nope.

My diabolical subconscious just conjured up an image of one of those big fuckers landing on my neck and now I have to go drink heavily.
posted by Misunderestimated at 12:24 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

More importantly, how did the guy in Artw's second link get high speed photography of a bat?
posted by yeolcoatl at 12:26 PM on January 14, 2012

This definitely needs more 300-style speed ramping.

Also: homoeroticism.
posted by brundlefly at 12:28 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

So here's a cool tidbit. The bees shown in that video aren't a native variety to Japan; they've been imported from Eurasia, typically from somewhere around Europe. The native bee population deals with these incursions of wasps by engaged in something fantastic. The hornets send out scouts to find beehives which report back to the other hornets once a hive is found. The bees have developed a defense wherein if they detect one of these hornets, they'll swarm them en mass, surrounding them and vibrating furiously, generating a lot of heat and killing the hornet with the heat. The bees can take 'just' enough more temperature increase than the hornets as to survive.
posted by ZaneJ. at 12:29 PM on January 14, 2012 [19 favorites]

Each year in Japan, the human death toll caused by Asian giant hornet stings exceeds that of all other venomous and non-venomous wild animals combined, including wild bears and venomous snakes. That's what wiki says, so like holy fuck I am glad all I have to worry about right now is did I put on heavy socks so my toes don't freeze.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:29 PM on January 14, 2012 [6 favorites]

This just confirms my deep-seated belief that wasps are assholes.

Fucking wasps.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:33 PM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

That fear in the bees eyes. I know it too well. Evil - hornet is thy name. And the hornet's accomplice is My Older Sister.

At the age of 5, My Older Sister and I were playing "garden" - getting along, replanting weeds in paper cups on the landing of stairs leading to the porch of our house. We had a cup that was filled with water - our "watering cup" that my sister was readying to pour over our newly planted dixie cup weeds. Her aim was not great, and some water was spilled, inserting fury into the inhabitants of the hornets nest directly underneath the wooden planks we were playing on. Everything else i remember from that moment on was in slow motion - I'm pretty sure there was an orchestra in our backyard that afternoon playing some ominous Latin music. We get up and run - my sister older, bigger, strong than I. Rushing down the stairs, quickly, quickly-- staying only inches ahead from the riled up hornet pack. My sister makes it to the door! She quickly opens it, goes in, and rapidly closes the door behind her. Locks it. Even uses her body weight to hold it closed. I saw something wicked in her eyes that day that I still can't reconcile is related to my own flesh and blood. That evil, so readily sacrificing the younger, weaker one for the mob of angry wasps, ferocious just to make somebody pay. My banging on the door and cries for help were as good as that time My Older Sister and her friend Laura locked me out in the pouring rain because they didn't want me to interrupt their after school My Little Pony playdate (another locked out story for another day).

The hornets eventually retreated, the Latin music stopped, and I remained wounded but not defeated with 3 stinging welts on my upper right arm. I am finally let in. My Older Sister had made our game of "garden" a pretty horrible one, but I make damn well sure to make our new game of "My Older Butler Sister" a pretty terrific one. We even still play it today! every time I show her the scars on my arm
posted by raztaj at 12:48 PM on January 14, 2012 [9 favorites]

I saw a queen bald-faced hornet in my yard once. Queens are bigger than the regular hornets, of course. She was easily an inch and a half long. Flew past just inches from my face and settled for a rest in my tree. It was all I could do not to run screaming in mortal terror. I edged slowly backward into my house and was scared to go out again for the rest of the day. And I'm a gardener, so it's not like I'm some sort of predatory arthropod interaction novitiate; I'm one of those people who thinks dragonflies are pretty and finds mantises adorable and catches nuisance spiders live and puts them outside.

This isn't the first time I've heard of gigantic Japanese hornets, but it's the first time I've watched them on video. The very idea that bigger hornets than the biggest one I've personally seen exist somewhere gives me the shivers. No wonder the Japanese are always coming up with awesome fictional monsters. You'd have to work hard at your art to beat nature there.

I felt really bad watching the hornets eat the baby bees.
posted by BlueJae at 12:50 PM on January 14, 2012

They just happened to have their fancy cameras set up to catch this? Because if some fuckers purposely introduced 30 giant hornets to a bee hive just to get a couple minutes of cool video, I want to introduce 30 giant hornets to the director's underpants.
posted by pracowity at 1:03 PM on January 14, 2012 [13 favorites]

The videos cool and all, but its been around for a while (i could swear I saw it on mefi a couple years back), it seems like someone just took an old youtube clip, redubbed it with "epic" music and then ran it through a couple levels of blogspam (bubbling up to gawker/io9).

Oh well, at least we got it before the huffington post. Still, seems like it would be better just as a SLYT, so we could avoid the asinine gawker commentary.
posted by lkc at 1:04 PM on January 14, 2012

I'm sorry, did you say beads or bees?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:07 PM on January 14, 2012

We encountered giant wasps they called 'frelons' in France. Not half the size of these Japanese babies but way bigger than anything I had ever seen. Scariest was they cruised around at night, banging against the windows trying to get in.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 1:07 PM on January 14, 2012

Ick. Hornets and wasps are useless little bastards. Every year we have to get rid of nests and hives.

My husband found a swarm of bees in a locker abandoned behind a warehouse. He brought them home and set up a hive. Bees are mostly benign, and the kept the little bastards in check that summer. Unfortunately, the bees didn't survive the winter. Sad.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:22 PM on January 14, 2012

You think this is bad, just wait until Hibachi shows up.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:41 PM on January 14, 2012

It looks like it may be from this 2006 BBC documentary called Buddha, Bees and the Giant Hornet Queen:

The only link I could find for it appears to have fallen to a copyright claim unfortunately.
posted by jonbro at 1:45 PM on January 14, 2012

Fucking hate bees.

I like flowers. I love food.

Bees were important to Darwin because creationists cited their skill as something that could only have come from God. Evidence that their optimally efficient cooperative wax sculpting evolved: the sloppy cells of Melipona domestica.

The list of species that build megaconstructions far larger than the size of an individual is pretty short: bees, wasps, termites, ambrosia beetles, doozers, ants, mole rats (and other social burrowers), beavers and us. (Anything else? Do we want to count coral?) I find I feel a bit of kinship with them. We don't just try to survive -- we make the world what we want it to be.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:52 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

Oh and here's another way bees may repel hornets : Social waves- "They display highly coordinated Mexican wave-like cascades termed shimmering. Shimmering starts at distinct spots on the nest surface and then spreads across the nest within a split second whereby hundreds of individual bees flip their abdomens upwards."
posted by dhruva at 2:13 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

out of curiosity, this is either entirely rendered or contains wholly-CG scenes, correct?

It doesn't say anywhere, but the alternative is that someone somehow set up a dozen or fifteen miniature cameras around and inside the nest. Either way, it is very good editing or very good CGI.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:10 PM on January 14, 2012

This was upsetting in an entirely different way than I expected it would be. I'M SO SORRY, BRAVE HONEYBEES! *sob*

Also, how did they manage to catch this on film? Surely they didn't set up cameras around the nest and then RELEASE SOME HORNETS, right? Right?!
posted by Fui Non Sum at 3:27 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

All I can think is, why don't we send a bunch of these tough guys to Australia? Teach them some manners.
posted by Splunge at 4:13 PM on January 14, 2012

Poor frickin' bees.
posted by tumid dahlia at 4:14 PM on January 14, 2012

And it wasn't just setting up cameras around a nest. Isn't that a man-made bee house?

Also, holy crap giant wasps. Cue nightmares. : /
posted by Glinn at 4:19 PM on January 14, 2012

I sat on a wasp once as a smal child, major pain in the ass, I'm glad it wasn't one of these guys as I'd still be standing 30 years later.
posted by arcticseal at 4:22 PM on January 14, 2012

A whole playlist of giant hornet videos. I wasn't aware of this whole animal-vs-animal genre before and I'm intrigued...
posted by indubitable at 4:28 PM on January 14, 2012

Every year at my school, we have to warn students about these things. At a BBQ at my house, there were several flying around, until we traced them back to a nascent nest being built under my neighbors eaves. He had pest control out the next day.

An adult can be two inches long, and a single sting can kill a child. I'm not a fan.

The bee's swarm and overheat defense is pretty awesome though.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:36 PM on January 14, 2012

No wonder the Japanese are always coming up with awesome fictional monsters. You'd have to work hard at your art to beat nature there.

Yes indeed.
posted by AdamCSnider at 4:42 PM on January 14, 2012

I wasn't aware of this whole animal-vs-animal genre before and I'm intrigued...

Discovery's Monster Bug Wars was the only thing on TV I had to watch for a while. It was the closest thing to sports I've ever had any interest in. "But the scorpion/centipede match is on!"
posted by Amanojaku at 5:05 PM on January 14, 2012

Watch the little guys fight back. Payback time!
posted by funkiwan at 5:20 PM on January 14, 2012

I saw one of these guys a couple years back when I was in Gifu. It killed a praying mantis right in front of me.
posted by emmling at 5:59 PM on January 14, 2012

Now I used to have a bunch of flowers in my back yard. I do not, to this day, know what they were called. This was when I was a kid. Tall, flowers like daises. But lavender and white. As a kid they where bout my height.

They were there when we stopped planting tomatoes.

Anyway, one day I wandered into this wonderful patch of flowers and I saw that it was full of bumblebees. They loved these flowers. As did I. And I loved the bumblebees as well. They would fly around, bouncing off of my face and arms. Just looking for a flower. Never got stung. Never. I would have said that they didn't give a damn about me, except that I got in the way of a flower.

That's when I saw the praying mantis. That was the coolest thing that i had ever seen. Totally motionless, legs grasping the stem of the plant. I was, Cool! What a wonderful new thing.

Then it struck out at a nearby bumblebee. Got the sucker in a fraction of a second, so fast I almost missed the movement, this poor bumble. this bee caught in two fore legs, spiked razor sharp traps. And i watched as the fucking mantis ate this bee alive. I heard the crunching. it was fascinating and frightening all at the same time.

But i realized something then.

I DID NOT want to be a bee anymore.
posted by Splunge at 6:56 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

...termites, ambrosia beetles, doozers...

The rats of NIMH should be on that list somewhere.
posted by zhwj at 7:15 PM on January 14, 2012

FYI, bees are pink inside.
posted by Splunge at 7:16 PM on January 14, 2012

Having Starship Troopers flashbacks now.
posted by The otter lady at 7:42 PM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Hornets are nasty, and surprisingly efficient. When I was a younger lad, I used to mow a lawn in rural suburban Virginia. One day I stumbled on a hornets nest. It sent out two hornet scouts to check me out, and since I had a loud lawnmower they immediately determined I was a thread. Each of the two scouts attacked, stinging me once on the left leg near the angle and then once on the right arm near the wrist for a total of four stings. It happened in, what seemed to be less than a second. I was shocked, but I seem to recall watching the hornets return to their nest after the attack. The pain became excruciating and I ran off in tears.

After some first aid from my parents, I returned to retrieve the lawnmower. As I approached, two scouts left the nest and attacked. After I saw them I turned to run. As I was turning to flee, I got stung again twice on my left ankle and right wrist. This time, nothing in the world would make me finish mowing the lawn, not that I could, since my ankle had swollen up pretty good by then.

The next weekend I was mowing the same long. They got me again. While I didn't cry, the attack was enough to make me stop mowing and go into the house to curse and scratch and whine about how I wasn't getting paid enough to mow that lawn. It worked. I got paid more and my stepfather took out the nest with a can of spray.

They have the agility of a dragonfly, the speed of a hawk and the poison of a snake. I will never fuck with hornets, and I'm not a big fan of mowing lawns either.
posted by chemoboy at 10:04 PM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]

Autocorrect butchered my soliloquy but it should still be comprehensible.
posted by chemoboy at 10:06 PM on January 14, 2012

That's absolutely apollen.
posted by Decani at 5:10 AM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

I saw a show here on TV in Japan, profiling a group of guys living in the countryside whose job it was to track these hornets, and destroy their nests. They'd catch one, and tie a paper flag to it and watch it fly back to its nest. The hornets easily fly a few hundred meters away, so if they lost sight of one, they had to go back and catch another one to mark.

When they finally tracked one down, they'd place a big basket over the entrance of the nest and rattle it until most of the hornets were out, then go in with a shovel and destroy the nest.

Of course, he wore protective clothing during this part of it, but the hornets would swarm him and fiercely try to sting him through the rubber. Freaking frightening. Dozens of them. Just trying to punch through. He said that sometimes, they do.

Here's a video of some guys doing something similar.

Also, did you know that these hornets can freaking spray poison at you!? See 3:13 in this video.
posted by mariokrat at 8:35 AM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

Once you have spent the night in a hut with a hornet, you will find your fear of wasps has gone.

True story.
posted by Devonian at 10:41 AM on January 15, 2012

If this distresses you DO NOT look for videos of baby cuckoo at work.
posted by Phalene at 10:42 AM on January 15, 2012

That was so sad, so upsetting. I love bees - as a gardener here in Australia, the joy I get from watching them fly around the garden, pollinating the native plants (and the other not-so-native plants - is huge.

Personally, I would rather watch this - which is how the Japanese bees/Asian bees deal with these awful hornets.

I not so silently elicited a cheer when the bees engulfed the hornet in this video- "Take that, you evil winged bringer of death!!!"
posted by chris88 at 12:47 PM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

How has this not been posted before? I remember it making the rounds a few years ago.
Plurality tags will mess you up.
posted by unliteral at 2:51 PM on January 15, 2012

When my dad was first divorced from my mom, he had bought an old house out in the countryside. Not long after he moved in, he found a huge nest of wasps underneath one of the eaves. As he did not want risk being stung and he had no money for an exterminator, he found a solution that only a thirtyish guy might think advisable: he stuck the hose of a vacuum into the nest, turned it on, and ran back indoors.

When he returned twenty minutes later, all of the wasps were gone, but when he cut the power to the vacuum cleaner, it still sounded about the same as when it was on.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:59 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

Bees are wonderful creatures, so there's no way on Earth that I'm going to watch that.

PS: Can we call ourselves out for being eponysterical?
posted by deborah at 9:29 PM on January 16, 2012

posted by Artw at 2:13 PM on January 17, 2012

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