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Reproduction: Asian hornets are social insects and live in colonies. A colony typically consists of a queen, workers, and males. The queen lays eggs, and the workers care for the developing larvae. Males are responsible for mating with the new queens.
Venom: Asian hornets are known for their potent venom, which they inject when they sting. Their stings can be painful and, in some cases, can cause severe allergic reactions in humans.
Life Cycle: The colony cycle typically begins in the spring when a new queen establishes a nest. The nest expands as the season progresses, and new queens and males are produced in late summer for mating.
Predators: Asian hornets are known for preying on other insects, including honeybees. They can pose a significant threat to honeybee colonies, as they capture and consume individual bees.
Asian hornets are carnivorous and primarily feed on other insects, including bees, wasps, and various types of flies.
They are known for their hunting behavior, where they capture and decapitate honeybees to feed on their thorax.
In addition to hunting, they also consume nectar and sap from plants, especially in the late summer and autumn when other food sources become scarce.
The Asian hornet, Vespa velutina, is a species of hornet native to Southeast Asia, but it has spread to various parts of the world, including Europe. It is known for its aggressive nature and the potential threat it poses to honeybee populations. This invasive species has become a significant concern in regions where it has established itself.
Size: Asian hornets are larger than most other hornets and wasps, with queens reaching up to 3.5 cm (1.4 inches) in length, while workers and males are slightly smaller.
Coloration: They have a distinctive black or dark brown body with a yellow-orange face and segments on their abdomen. They also have yellow legs and a single yellow band on their fourth abdominal segment.
Head: The head is relatively large with a well-defined yellow-orange face.
Thorax: The thorax is black and densely covered with short, velvety hairs.
Abdomen: The abdomen consists of six segments, and the fourth segment has a prominent yellow band.
Wings: The wings are translucent and tinted brown.
Asian hornets are highly adaptable and can thrive in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, and urban areas. They often build their nests in trees, but they can also nest in buildings, walls, and underground. They are known for their ability to establish and expand their populations rapidly in new environments.
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