A group of schoolboys were taken to hospital for treatment today, after being stung by hornets at Guting Elementary School in Taipei City.
According to an Apple Daily report, the boys were in the playground during their lunch break when a 5th grade boy began throwing a water bottle at a basketball-sized hornets’ nest perched around 5 meters up in a palm tree.
The common banded hornets (Vespa affinis) responded by attacking and stinging 5 boys. The 5th grade boy was stung, along with one 6th grade boy, 2 4th graders, and a 2nd grade student.
The boys were given first aid at the school’s health center before being sent to Renai Hospital for a medical examination. All boys were conscious and showed no signs of allergic reaction.
Police cordoned off the area, and the fire department destroyed the hive using a fire hose.
School administrators said that they will strengthen the inspection of trees to prevent similar incidents in the future.
The hornet species is said to be less aggressive than the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia), but will attack if the hive is disturbed, and is more likely to be found in urban areas than its larger, and more aggressive cousin.
September this year, 8 students at the nearby Taipei First Girl’s High School were stung while in class by the same species of hornet. According to reports at the time, a hornet had flown into the classroom, and was killed by a ceiling fan, triggering other hornets to attack.
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