Wild Animals/green hornets


Will I be okay if I get stung five times by a hornet?.

Dear Raven

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used.

There are a couple of coincidences here. Only recently, I was reading an article about aggressive Asian giant hornets that stung people, some of whom died after being stung over 10 times. Secondly, I have been stung 4 times by wasps,so I'm wary of them. It was painful for a time, but I didn't suffer any long-term problems, as far as I know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornet#Stings and Pandi Panda (http://voices.yahoo.com/hornet-stings-guide-treating-hornet-6277330.html) say hornet stings are more painful to humans than are typical wasp stings because hornet venom contains 5% of acetylcholine. The intense pain  can make many people to worry it will cause permanent damage. A hornet sting is usually nothing to worry about, but can be dangerous in certain situations. Hornets usally sting to defend their hives from disturbances by clumsy humans.Hornet stings are poisonous, but that poison is usually delivered in small enough amounts that it is not dangerous to humans. It would take about 1000 hornet stings to kill an adult human (500 hornet stings to kill a child). A hornet sting does not usually therefore pose a serious threat to most people, unless they are allergic to wasp venom. Hornet stings are in general, however, much more painful than those of most wasps because the venom in a hornet sting typically contains about 5% acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps to transmit the pain signal to your brain. Individual hornets can sting multiple times. Some hornet species deliver a typical insect sting, while others are among the most venomous insects. Single hornet stings are not fatal, except to some allergic victims. Multiple stings by non-European hornets may be fatal due to highly toxic species-specific components of the venom. The stings of the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia japonica) are the most venomous known. People who are allergic to wasp venom are also allergic to hornet stings. In severe cases, allergic individuals may go into anaphylactic shock and die unless treated promptly. http://voices.yahoo.com/hornet-stings-guide-treating-hornet-6277330.html gives details about how to treat hornet stings.

I hope you haven't been stung 5 times by a hornet. If you have, hopefully you will follow the advice above.

Take care


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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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