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Asian giant hornets are the largest species of hornet in the world, boasting a wingspan of 7cm (3in) and a 0.6cm (quarter of an inch-long) venomous stinger. They can kill a human, if one is unlucky enough to disturb a nest and get stung repeatedly, but they are routinely dangerous for honey bees. The hornets invade beehives, decapitating their inhabitants with their powerful mandibles before claiming the nest as their own. Unlike their Asian relatives, the European honey bee that’s made its home in the US failed to develop defense tactics against these killing machines in the course of their evolution.
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