He brought a dustbuster to capture murder hornets, instead he just made them angry

Posted on Apr 1, 2021

The trio, plus another area beekeeper named Peter Lange, went to the local woods where the Holubeshens found the hive at night, dressed in their beekeeping gear and wearing headlamps. In addition to his beekeeping gear, Berube was also wearing a kevlar vest and gauntlets, "the type that are used for chainsaw protection and/or zombie apocalypses." He also had a Dustbuster-style vacuum, which was what he'd traditionally used to collect yellow jackets, and a CO2 fire extinguisher. Because hornets don't fly at night, the group hoped to catch them unawares.

Unfortunately, Berube didn't realize exactly how big a murder hornet was. The insects were too large for the Dustbuster, and instead of capturing them, it woke them up. Berube was immediately stung four times on the inner thigh. He described the pain as being like "red hot thumbtacks." The stings also drew blood, a first for him.

Berube and company switched tactics, blasting the hornets with the fire extinguisher, which knocked them out, preserving them in alcohol. Then he'd wait. More hornets would attack. He'd blast those hornets and preserve them in alcohol. And then he'd repeat the process again. Once all the hornets were gone, they started taking out the hive itself.

When Berube eventually took his gear off, he realized he'd actually been stung three more times, and still had a lancet, part of the sting mechanism, lodged in his thumb. He says that having been repeatedly exposed to bee and wasp venom probably meant his response to being stung wasn't as severe as it could have been.

Read the full article, "This man was stung seven times by murder hornets while trying to save Vancouver Island's honeybees"