Flamethrower drone sets wasp nests on fire after villagers stung to death

A video shows a flamethrower drone setting fire to a wasp nest while the hive gets burned to a smoldering crisp in China.

The drastic solution was introduced in Zhong county after a spate of deaths caused by wasp and hornet stings in rural areas of the country where people often can't get to a hospital in time.

In the clip, uploaded on social media by Blue Sky Rescue Team, a drone is remotely powered up and launches into the air.

It's piloted towards a tall tree where a wasp nest is attached in a fork of the higher branches.

The drone then hovers parallel to the hive and shoots forth a jet of fire straight into the nest.

Despite this, the nest doesn’t catch alight and it takes a second attempt to get it fully ablaze.

The hive then burns ferociously while the drone aims for another burst of fire.

Footage shows several more hives meet the same fiery end, hopefully saving lives in the region.

Blue Sky Rescue Team is China's largest non-governmental humanitarian organisation and it bought and customised the flamethrower drone for 80,000 yuan (£9,240).

As the wasp nest was reduced to smoldering cinders, villagers "applauded" and praised the volunteer rescue team, an article on a local news app run by state-owned Chongqing TV reported.

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"Now we don't have to worry about being stung by a wasp," a resident was quoted as saying in the same article.

The danger of wasps got huge media attention in China when 19 people died from stings within just three months in Ankang, Shaanxi province, China Daily reports.

Doctor Guo Dongyang told the news outlet: "People being severely stung by wasps may suffer renal failure, liver failure, and cardiac injury and may die within one or two hours without timely treatment."

Chen Changlin, a farmer in Ankang, tried to rescue a mum and her son from a swarm of wasps and was stung hundreds of times in the process.

Sadly, the mum and her son died and Chen has since been on dialysis because the wasp venom left him with renal failure.

He said: "I was farming at the time and rushed to help a mother and her son, who were surrounded by wasps nearby.

"But the wasps stung me for nearly three minutes, and I had to run more than 200 meters away to escape."

China is home to more than 100 species of wasps, most of which are harmless to humans, but also the Asian giant hornet which is particularly dangerous and thrives in rural forests.

The species became known as satsujin suzumebachi or "murder hornet" in Japan because of its notoriety.

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