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108 07-04
Some tips from APHIO to keep you from hornet stings

【New Taipei City】 Animals thrive in hot summer days and so do hornets. Every year there is news that people are stung to death by hornets throughout Taiwan. This happened to an unfortunate citizen, this June, as he went to his bamboo plantation in the hills harvesting bamboo shoots. Hornets are frequently found nesting under eaves or in trees. The nest often grows from the size of a baseball to that of a basketball. When a hornet nest is spotted, citizens are urged to call 1999 and the APHIO will send someone to remove the nest. Also, when you spot hornet activities, just stay quiet and leave the site as quickly as possible with a cloth or hat covering the head. Do not swing your hands or anything at the hornets as this may trigger the attack of the swarm.
Hornets are known to be dangerous to people. Hornet stings often lead to allergic shock or even death. According to the statistics of APHIO, there were 9,429 reports of hornet presence last year and 2,451 in July alone. These insects are often found nesting on the steel structures of the shed built on the roof of urban apartment buildings, outside of closed windows, at the bottom of the outdoor units of air conditioners and under the eaves. Also, the short bushes on school campuses and the external sides of rarely-opened windows are the prime location for hornet nests.
Hornets start looking for a nesting spot in an environment where there is little human disturbance after April. They scrape the wood fiber off tree barks for building material. The hornet nests found during this period often start out in the size of a baseball or even a ping pong ball. It is the least dangerous to remove the nests at the beginning, as they are easily removed simply by knocking them off with a long stick.
APHIO says that people who are working outdoors or into outdoor recreational activities should be aware of these hornets and learn about their behaviors. When a single hornet flies toward you, circles around and flies away, just let it be and walk away quickly, as it is likely to be a honey-collecting worker; if there are 2 or 3 hornets circling above your head or around your body, these are probably scouts, meaning that you just entered their warning zone. Do not chase them off, and cover your head with clothing or hat. Leave quickly and quietly to avoid the swarm’s attack.
APHIO warns that people should keep an eye on the surrounding for any possible sign of hornet activities or nests before working outdoors. Try to avoid unbeaten grassy trails and be careful with rocks and trees; particularly on rainy days, hornets tend to stay in their nests. Also, be extra careful while walking or working at a hill trail. Apply mosquito repellent on your body as it also works to repel hornets.

For more information:  
New Taipei City Government Animal Protection and Health Inspection Office, Director Lin, Hung-Kui; telephone: 2959-6353, ext.: 267, cell phone: 0935-521-626


Last updated: 108-10-30 Back