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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Big and colorful arm: stung by a Japanese hornet

Tear shaped (upside down, though) swelling around hornet sting

When having lunch at work today, I suddenly noticed that my arm hurt something fierce. There was an insect on my arm, and I slapped it. This left me with a fairly big stinger sticking out of my arm, and a dead hornet-like insect on the floor.

A minute or so later, I had an interesting swelling on my arm, that grew out in a funny pattern from the sting. A few minutes later, the whole general area was also swollen, and large parts were turning red.

I have been stung by Swedish hornets and bees, which does not hurt very much. This thing hurt like crazy, though. Now, five and a half hours later, the arm is still swollen (though less than before), and it still hurts quite a lot. I guess the insects here in the southern part of the world are fiercer than in the cold north.

Larger swelling, and lots of red discoloration of my previously very white skin

I asked our secretary if there are any dangerous insects around here. She took a look at my hornet sting and said: "Oh, this usually leads to brain death. Sayonara". She also told my colleague who was with me to say his last goodbyes to me. She is funny, our secretary.

Then, one of my Japanese friends told me: "You got stung by a hornet? Why aren't you in the hospital?!" So maybe the common sense reaction to getting stung by hornets in Japan is not the same as the one in Sweden ("man up, it stops hurting soon").


  1. Jag är helt på din japanske kompis sida här!! Du borde såklart gå och kolla det där.. Fast det kanske är ok nu? Eran sekreterare har helt klart min typ av humor, dock!! :-)

    1. Tydligen dör det mellan 30 och 40 japaner varje år av getingstick, så de är väl lite rädda för sådant här. Men då är det de stora jättegetingarna. Den som stack mig var stor som en svensk geting ungefär, om än rejält mycket värre att bli stungen av. Idag gör det fortfarande lite ont, särskilt om man rör vid armen, och armen är ganska röd fortfarande. Men det är ingen fara nu.