There’s a phrase in Japanese which means something like, “a bee comes to a crying face”, meaning that misfortunes always follow each other. As you’re crying over something bad that happened, that’s when a bee will roll up and sting your nose.
Well, just as I was beginning to get over my enteritis, the school festival started. I wandered on down to the local Town Hall to watch the day’s stage performances yesterday, took a nice seat, and instantly felt a sharp painful sting in my lower leg. I flung my leg out and saw something dangling from under it. I shook it off, and realised it was a giant bloody hornet, which I promptly stood on before it could recover its senses.
Then I hobbled out of the Hall in intense pain.
The school nurse administered a little First Aid as my leg swelled up and everybody wondered if I was going to have an allergic reaction. A quick trip to the doctor down the road got me some ointment to rub on it, and I’ve been unable to walk properly since.
I decided to do a little net research on the bastard, and here’s some interesting info. The Asian Giant Hornet is the world’s largest hornet (measuring about 51mm long). In Japanese, they call it the “sparrow bee”, since it’s like a bloody small bird. Its sting hurts like shit. After it stung me, my entire lower leg was in pain for the rest of the day, and I constantly kept getting sharp stabbing pains re-occurring where it got me, like red-hot wires poking in. It turns out the venom contains the highest dosage of something called acetylcholine out of any bee/wasp, which is a nifty little chemical that stimulates pain nerves, actually intensifying the pain. Also, thanks to its size, it injects more venom than the average bee in the first place. The venom can dissolve human tissue, and in fact, about 40 people in Japan die per year thanks to being stung by these little marvels.
So now, I’m sitting here almost 2 full days after the sting with an inflated, red leg which is hot and painful, and wondering when the hell I’m going to finally be able to enjoy being back in Japan. Since the little soldier decided to engage me in mortal combat, I’ve got his carcass in a vial on my bookcase as a trophy. Here’s hoping my leg doesn’t get dissolved.
Finally, here’s a little vid of about 30 of the characters taking on a beehive of around 30,000 of your more common garden-variety bees. Brutal.