Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bee Swarm Attacks Left Field at Yankees-Red Sox Game at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa

ABC News Instant Index: A Swarm of Bees Attack the Yankees and Red Sox.

A swarm of bees arrived in left field during the third inning at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. Boston left fielder Mike Carp pointed out the bees to umpires, who stopped the game while the groundskeeper crew the area with multiple cans of insect spray.

Bees swarmed a remote camera at an Orioles - Angels game in Anaheim on May 2, 2013.

5/2/13: The game between the Orioles and Angels in Anaheim is delayed by a swarm of bees hovering behind home plate.

A swarm of bees also delayed a game for 23 minutes on September 23, 2013 at a Seattle Mariners-Los Angles game ...

9/22/13: An infestation of bees in the outfield sends players and fans scattering and delays the ballgame for 23 minutes.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tamarixia radiata, a Tiny, Stingless Wasp from Pakistan, Used to Attempt to Destroy Asian Citrus Psyllid Pest of Citrus Farmers

California citrus farmers are using a tiny stingless wasp, known as Tamarixia radiata, to attempt to destroy the Asian citrus psyllid, which causes citrus fruit to turn lumpy, and eventually destroys the trees. The female wasp lays an egg in the psyllid's belly. When the egg hatches, the nymph devours the Asian Citrus Psyllid.

University of California, Riverside scientists released a natural enemy of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP).

University of California, Riverside scientists released Tamarixia radiata (tiny, stingless parasitic wasps that lay eggs in ACP nymphs) -- a natural enemy of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) in a citrus grove on the UC Riverside campus in 2011. The scientists are using Tamarixia radiata to help control the spread of the psyllid -- an invasive pest that could devastate the state's $1.1 billion citrus industry.

UC Riverside Executive Vice Chancellor Dallas Rabenstein and Mark Hoddle, the director of the Center for Invasive Species Research, released Tamarixia radiata – tiny, stingless parasitic wasps that lay eggs in ACP nymphs – in a citrus grove near the UCR Botanic Gardens. A total of 281 wasps (95 males and 186 females) were released [...]

See also ...
LA TIMES Citrus growers use predator wasp to fight disease threat

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Friday, October 4, 2013

Asian Giant Hornets: Firefighters in Ankang, China Fight Back as Death Toll Hits 42, and Injuries Hit 1,600

ITN VIDEO: Victims in hospital with sting wounds and firefighters shown fighting hornets and removing hornet nests.

Firefighters in northwest China are removing nests while wearing protective suits and using fire and aerosol spray to fend off the two-inch Asian Giant Hornets (Vespa Mandarina).  Ankang’s firefighters have removed over 300 hornet nests from crowded residential areas since July in an attempt to prevent injuries and deaths.

Hospitals in the city of Ankang, China have been forced to set up specialist units and medical committees to cope with the large number patients suffering from multiple stings. Many people are in critical condition, and some are not expected to survive. In early stats released in October 2013,  42 people have been killed, and 1600 have been injured by stings from Asian Giant Hornets.

Highly toxic venom injected in multiple puncture wounds have been found on victims. Many of the wounds look ulcerated and show signs of tissue destruction. Some naysayers have claimed that venom of Asian Giant Hornets isn't any more lethal than other wasps and bees, but experts say that the toxin is a special mix that can destroy tissue with a cytolytic peptide (specifically, a mastoparan) that can damage tissue by stimulating phospholipase action from the victim's tissue. The venom also contains its own intrinsic phospholipase. Mastoparan is a peptide toxin from wasp venom that is basically a biochemical hazmat situation at the cellular level -- causing cells to spill out their interior contents (exocytosis). Histamine, serotonin and catecholamines are released. Proteins are disassociated by Mastoparan. Phospholipase is an enzyme that hydrolyzes (destroys) phospholipids, which are components of all cell membranes.

Asian Giant Hornet venom also contains a neurotoxin called mandaratoxin (MDTX), which is a single-chain polypeptide with a molecular weight of approximately 20,000.  MDTX can be lethal even to people who are not allergic if the dose is sufficient. In research of MDTX, scientists discovered with an intracellular recording from the presynaptic nerve fiber, MDTX blocked the action potential mainly by reducing the sodium current (nerve impulses work from flow of sodium ions across nerve cell membranes). In very small amounts (nanomole range), MDTX irreversibly blocked the excitatory postsynaptic potential of tissue in a walking lobster leg.

The sensation of pain is described as a "hot nail driven into tissue."

Most of the victims have been rural farmers working outdoors in rice fields. A 68-year-old was killed after wind blew a hornets nest over, or when he accidentally knocked over the nest. The hornets swarmed him, stung him multiple times, and killed him. Victims in Hanzhong and Shangluo have also been killed and injured.

Ankang, China is in a Subtropical monsoon climate region of China. The frost-free period, according to is as long as 210-270 days, which lasts on average more than 8 months. It is unknown if the hornets migrate from more tropical regions.

See also Purification and properties of a presynaptically acting neurotoxin, mandaratoxin, from hornet (Vespa mandarinia).


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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Girl Stung in the Face or Lips by a Bee; Has Twitter Pic to Prove It

Poor girl was stung in the face or lips by a bee ...

Bald-Faced Hornets Attack Camera, Sting Man in the Head, and One Hornet is Found Dead on the Sidewalk

Describing multiple events ... person that was stung (described below video) was minding his own business watering the lawn and weeding ...

Bald-Faced Hornets are especially vicious and aggressive -- watch them attack this camera.

Bald-Faced Hornets are black and white. They have no yellow color. Their faces are white. If a person gets within 12 feet of a Bald-Faced Hornet's next, it is almost guaranteed that the person will be stung at least once and maybe multiple times.

Bald-Faced Hornets are so fast they can sting without being detected -- at least not enough to get a description of what actually stung the victim.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Hellish Yellow Jacket Nest in a Chair in a Vacant House in Hobe Sound, Florida

A contractor who normally eradicates only honey bees, is faced with a massive wasp or yellow jacket nest built into a standard living room chair in a vacant house in Hobe Sound, Florida.