A small but highly efficient killing machine - a hornet two inches long and with a wingspan up to three inches - lurks in the mountains of Japan. The voracious predator has a quarter-inch stinger that pumps out a dose of venom with an enzyme so strong it can dissolve human tissue. Just one of these hornets can kill 40 European honeybees a minute; a handful of the creatures can slaughter 30,000 European honeybees within hours, leaving a trail of severed insect heads and limbs. Someone who is stung by the hornet and doesn't receive proper treatment soon thereafter can die from the venom, which is powerful enough to disintegrate human flesh. About 40 people die each year after being stung by giant hornets, mainly as a result of an allergic reaction to the venom.