Killer hornets wreak havoc
Updated: 2013-10-16 07:43
By He Na (China Daily)
Bad, or beneficial?
Li Benzeng, director of Ankang Forestry Bureau, said hornets eat the larvae of other insects, thereby aiding farmers by disposing of pests in the forests and fields.
A victim of a hornet attack receives treatment at a hospital in Ankang city, Shaanxi province. More than 1,600 people in the cities of Ankang, Hanzhong and Shangluo have been attacked since July. The death toll currently stands at 42.
The bureau's research suggests that one hornet can eat 1,000 flies and 1,000 other pests over the course of their yearlong lives. Therefore one nest can protect approximately 333 hectares from pests.
Li Tiesheng noted that several provinces have introduced hornets in cotton fields to kill pests. The results were encouraging.
"The adults, larvae and the nests all have a high medicinal value. Extracts from the poison can be useful in the treatment of arthritis and can kill cancer cells for a short time, until they become immune," he said.
According to Li Xin: "Hornets eat flesh, especially pests. But they also love sweet-tasting things, so they are very destructive to fruit crops. It's hard to define whether hornets are good or bad. However, as a crucial link in the food chain, from the point of view of maintaining the ecological balance, we should remove hornet nests that disrupt our lives, such as those in villages, but keep the others and attempt to coexist peacefully."