Bee-ware! This weekend, experts warned of a new threat to American citizens: the Asian giant hornet, known colloquially as the “murder hornet.” The potentially-lethal insect has captivated the internet’s attention, but one fearless YouTuber seemed to pick up on the buzz years ago. In 2018, Brave Wilderness’ Coyote Peterson actually let a murder hornet sting him on-camera, an experience that left him in “absolute searing pain” for hours. Ouch.
Two years ago, Peterson, the self-proclaimed “King of Sting,” posted a video to the Brave Wilderness YouTube channel about the Asian giant hornet. The video follows Peterson as he hunts down “Japan’s most notorious insect” so that he can document the sting for his legion of views. “Wow, that is a big hornet!” says the cameraman, as the massive insect flies around in their net. “It’s biting right through the net,” says Peterson.
The YouTuber explains that the giant hornet, which has now been nicknamed the “murder hornet” thanks to a New York Times article, is one of the most “intimidating” insects he’s ever allowed to sting him. “Everything about this creature screams, ‘Run in the other direction,’” he says. “Yet here we are, on the doorstep of the executioner box.”
When the moment of truth finally comes, Peterson writhes in pain as the hornet’s stinger lodges in his forearm. “Oh man, wave of dizziness really quick!” he says, collapsing onto the ground. “Searing pain … My hand is completely seized up and locked in place.” His arm begins to swell after just 45 seconds, but he manages to explain that the sting felt like “a wave” of pain coming over him.
“Oh my god, look at that,” says a cameraman, pointing at Peterson’s red arm. “Wow, you are swelling like crazy.” A welt quickly forms, but when he tries to show the camera, he feels “sharp, shooting pain” in his arm.
Peterson may be a sting veteran, but ultimately, he was no match for the murder hornet. “We’re going to monitor this sting for the next 24 hours and see what happens,” he says at the end of the video. “But I can promise you this: I’ve got a world of pain ahead of me.”
According to The New York Times, the murder hornet has likely already made its way to the United States. If you’d like to know what to avoid (and we should definitely all avoid it), check out Coyote Peterson’s video above.