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Two groups of hikers attacked by bees, hornets in New Taipei

Sunday saw two groups of hikers attacked in Shimen and Wulai Districts

The black-bellied hornet. 

The black-bellied hornet.  (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — There were two separate reports of hikers attacked by bees or hornets in New Taipei on Sunday (Oct. 1).

The first attack was reported in New Taipei’s Wulai District, in which two women and a young boy were sent to the hospital after being stung around their head and shoulders, reported CNA. A second incident occurred in New Taipei’s Shimen District, with three hikers sent to the hospital after they were stung by black-bellied hornets, reported LTN.

In Wulai, a group of ten relatives were hiking along the roadside near a popular waterfall around 1:50 p.m. when three people were attacked. The three victims suffered stings around their back, shoulders and face.

The three victims included two women in their late 30s and a nine-year-old boy who were sent to a hospital, but their condition was not life-threatening. Authorities who investigated the scene were unable to confirm the species of bee or hornet involved in the attack, per CNA.

In Shimen District, a group of eight friends were hiking off trail near a main road around 3 p.m. when they were attacked by black bellied hornets, one of Taiwan’s most dangerous hornet species. The group quickly called for medical help and rushed back to the road.

When emergency responders arrived, three of the victims were in serious condition and were quickly rushed to Mackay Memorial Hospital, per LTN. The black bellied hornet’s venom can cause edema and stings can be life-threatening if not properly treated.

It is currently the breeding season for several hornet species, making attacks more common around this time of year. In late September, a group of 20 hikers in New Taipei’s Ruifeng District were attacked by a swarm of Asian hornets, which resulted in the death of two men in their 60s.

Authorities warn hikers to pay attention to their surroundings when hiking. During the autumn season, it is a good idea to wear long sleeves and pants in light colors.

If you encounter a hive of bees or hornets, do not bother them. If they become aggressive, hikers should detour or retreat away from the hive. If someone suffers a serious allergic reaction after being stung, such as having trouble breathing or excessive swelling, call 911 immediately to ensure prompt medical treatment.