• Question: Why are hornets so harmful?

    Asked by kamilo12 to David, Jonathan, Ou, Pete, Sam, Mus, Tess, Yue on 24 May 2012.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 24 May 2012:

      Hornet stings tend to hurt a lot more than wasp stings, because the venom in a hornet sting contains a much larger amount of something called ‘acetylcholine’, which is a derivative of acetic acid. So it’s kind of like being injected with a bit of vinegar!

      Also, hornet venom is different, depending on the hornet. For example, the venom from asian giant hornets also contains a neurotoxin called mandaratoxin, which is very lethal and can kill people.