A hornet nest with a diameter of 1.15m, housing about 25,000 Vespa basalis, or black-tailed tiger hornets, was removed from a mountainside property in Chiayi’s Mudan Township (牡丹) last month.
Although onlookers were fascinated by the size of the hive, Yeh Feng-yung (葉豐永), the nest removal specialist who climbed a three-story-high tree to reach it, said he was not particularly impressed.
In the current hornet nesting season, which started in August last year, he has dealt with 80 nests each containing 4,000 to 45,000 hornets, while the largest nest he ever laid hands on in his career contained about 60,000, Yeh said.
Photo: Yu Hsueh-lan, Taipei Times
He is a locally renowned expert in hornet nests with 30 years of experience, and had previously managed a Yunlin-based hornet education and training center for professionals, Yeh said.
Four out of Yeh’s eight apprentices have become hornet nest removal specialists, he said.
He grew up in the mountains and, at the age of 19, began catching hornets with a net that he had made, because he was tired of being stung, Yeh said.
“God put me here to catch hornets and gave me the skills to do it,” he said.
The profession can be painful, Yeh said, adding: “There was this time when I was stung 16 times by black tails. I drank some rice liquor for the pain, took down the nest and took it home.”
The annual season for hornets is from August to January, a period that he typically spends in the wilderness under a tent surveying and removing nests, Yeh said.
Hornet queens usually hibernate in a hole until April, producing about 100 drones, before usually leading the swarm up a tree to build a permanent nest.
August brings the crunch period to his business cycle, because only then are the nests large enough to be worth the trouble and cost of removal, he said.
By October, hornet nests reach peak population as young females mate with males, after which males die and females leave the nest, leading to a decline in the population, Yeh said.
“By January, nests are virtually devoid of chrysalises with only hornets left in them,” he added.
UNDER INVESTIGATION: Huang’s body was found just outside the bathroom and showed no signs of a struggle, and no alcohol or drugs were found Singer and actor Alien Huang (黃鴻升) was found dead at his home in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) yesterday. He was 36. Huang was also known by the nickname Xiao Gui (“little ghost”). His body was found when his father went to check on him after being unable to reach him by telephone, and called emergency services to the house at 11am, the Taipei City Police Department said. Huang’s body, which was discovered just outside the bathroom, showed no signs of a physical struggle, and he appeared to have been dead for some time, police said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were
Scooter riders should regularly clean their helmets, especially in summer, to prevent dirt and sweat from accumulating and causing scalp problems, such as hair loss and permanent baldness, a dermatologist has warned. Poor hygiene practices by helmet wearers often lead to scalp problems, such as bacterial folliculitis, tinea capitis and seborrheic dermatitis, Lu Pei-hsuan (呂佩璇) at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said on Aug 31. The first step to maintain good scalp care is proper hair washing, as shampoo residues can easily cause dandruff and itchy scalps, while improper scratching will cause inflammation, Lu said. The best way to wash your hair is to
CONFIRMED IN PHILIPPINES: The CECC would conduct contact tracing for the migrant workers to determine if they had come into contact with elderly people or children Six Filipinos tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning home from Taiwan, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday as it reported a case of imported COVID-19 infection, bringing the number of confirmed cases in Taiwan to 500. Philippine authorities reported four of the cases through the National IHR Focal Point, while the other two were reported by the company that they had worked for in Taiwan. The six — five women and one man — are aged from their 20s to 40s, and worked as in-home care workers, domestic workers, factory workers and sailors in Taiwan, said Minister of Health and
INTIMIDATION: Chinese military maneuvers have mostly led to heightened support for Taiwan’s defense forces, while China appears poised to continue its campaign China’s incessant military activities in and near the Taiwan Strait over the past several months are “greater in meaning than in substance,” and are aimed at polarizing Taiwanese society, a researcher said in a report published on Friday. China has attempted to intimidate Taiwan through military threats, while at the same time calling on Taiwanese and US officials to practice restraint, which is aimed at causing a rift between those who prefer resistance against China and those who prefer peace, said Lee Kuan-cheng (李冠成), a researcher at the Institute for National Defense and Security Research. “China’s goal is to obscure public awareness