Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.

My Pet Suzumebachi – Asian Giant Hornet

The Asian Giant Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) is the world’s largest and the most dangerous animal in Japan. These insects are called suzumebachi (sparrow bee) in Japanese and are a common sight during summer months from the high mountains to the forested edges of large cities throughout the country. The insects make their living hunting other insects and specialize in attacking honeybee colonies where they will kill all of the bees and consume the larvae. The native honeybees of Japan, however, are not without defense as they will sometimes ambush en-mass an intruding suzumebachi, covering the hornet with their own bodies. This causes the body temperature of the wasp and bees to rise, killing the wasp which has a lower maximum temperature tolerance than the bees. Imported commercial honeybees have no such defense and are easy victims to suzumebachi in Japan and other parts of Asia.

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

 

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

 

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

Suzumebachi Asian Giant Hornet Vespa mandarinia

15 comments on “My Pet Suzumebachi – Asian Giant Hornet

  1. Edoardo
    November 7, 2011

    Hi,
    I dont know if you will read my comment, but still I try.
    My name is Edoardo, I’m an italian art student. We are practicing with naturalistic illustration and now we are working on insects.
    I’ve picked as a subject the Vespa Mandarinia. Searching for some material to work on I’ve stumbled in your blog.
    First of all I want to say that it is an amazing blog that took my attention for over 2 hours the first time I’ve gave it a look 🙂

    But now I have a little question, do you by chance knwo the name of the plant the hornet is placed in the last picutre in your entry about Vespa Mandarinia?

    Thanks for the attention and keep up the good job.

    Greetings,

    Edoardo
    edoacaso@gmail.com

    • LylesBrother
      November 7, 2011

      Hello friend. I’m afraid I do not know what this plant is. Good luck with your project. 🙂

      • Edoardo
        November 7, 2011

        Hi and thanks for the fast reply.
        Nevermind then 🙂 I was interested in that plant because I wanted to illustrate that hornet’s habitat and I was planing a detailed illustration of some plants where she might live. If it isn’t that one I’ll try and find some other plants.

        Thank you anyway and have a wonderous life 🙂

      • LylesBrother
        November 7, 2011

        Thank you for letting me know how you wanted to use the information. I chose that plant at random so it may not be an actual habitat. I can tell you that Susan me about you live in dead trees here in Japan. I often see the hornets foraging in all sorts of undergrowth. So it may be okay to use any sort of Japanese natural plants in your setting. This time of the year the hornets are also foraging in the green tea plants. The adult hornets are drinking the nectar from the green tea flowers. See my video “Chased by Suzumebachi” on my softypapa channel to see an example. Take care and good luck with your project! -Kurt 🙂

        Sent from my iPhone

      • Edoardo
        November 9, 2011

        Hello again,
        and thank you very much for that detailed explanation about their habitat. It was totally unexpected 🙂
        And you have my apologizes for not telling you what I wanted to do with those informations. I was just thinking about my project that I’ve forgot to mention it. Sometimes I get so carried away…

        Thank you again!

        Edoardo

      • Alahuackbar.
        March 29, 2012

        Hey. Just wondering…What’d you name him? I’m curious. Also. There is another thing you can do. Ever try getting two bees hornets and or wasps to breed? I know you didn’t. There is another species in africa. Called the african King Bee. It looks similar making her a perfect match for a male King Bee. Just a reccomendation.

    • Chandra
      July 16, 2014

      It looks like a black eyed susan.

  2. Edoardo
    November 9, 2011

    I mean, I didnt told you about I wanted to do with those informations in my first message.

    Eheh, told you: I’m quite carried away 🙂

    • LylesBrother
      November 9, 2011

      Hey friend,

      No problem at all! I’m really happy to have had a chance to help a little with your project. Please let me know if you have any other questions about suzumebachi here in Japan.

      Kurt 🙂

  3. katw
    August 18, 2012

    Hi, I googled pet hornet and your blog came up. I live in lawrence, ks and am terrified of a hornet that lives in my vicinity. He seems almost obsessed with flying around me when I go outside. I don’t believe in killing the creatures we co-exist with and am wanting tips on how to live with this lil guy that so terrifies me. Any advice would be beyond welcome. 🙂

    • softypapa
      September 26, 2012

      Thanks for checking out my blog. My mother lived in Kincaid, KS for many years. She really liked it there. -Kurt 🙂

  4. Lacy
    September 21, 2012

    That one is soo dead, stop acting like a bad@ss.

  5. Angie
    July 10, 2013

    Hi, i would like to send you a picture of a BIG bee/wasp i have no idea what kind it is and if it’s dangerous, i reside in Washington State USA…what is your email to send it.

  6. Gail Parish
    October 4, 2013

    I live in Indiana in the USA… I recently took a picture of a quite large bee foraging off my fig tree, I looked him up and he is a “Giant hornet” in our bee book. Is he related to yours in Japan?

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