PLA Deployed Flamethrower To Fight Hornets

Last year the PLA sent in a flamethrower after a Chinese villager was killed, and dozens injured, by Asian Giant Hornets living in a giant hive five feet in diameter.

Interesting technique used to control the flame thrower. I feel for the soldier whose face was inches away from the burning fuel.

“Anti-aircraft guns to fight mosquitoes are a waste of talent.” – A modern Chinese proverb.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • M.M.D.C.

    “Anti-aircraft guns to fight mosquitoes are a waste of talent.”

    But a flamethrower for these seems almost reasonable. Ouch!

    • allannon

      And let’s not forget that in addition to probably being large enough to target with a Phalanx, apparently the poison from their stings dissolves flesh.

      Proof that reality is stranger than fiction: if I read about this in fiction, I’d call it unbelievable.

      • xyz

        And the venom can cause permanent kidney failure. And they kill dozens of people in China and Japan each year. Just this year they killed 42 people in Shaanxi province in China.

        Yeah, a swarm of these is what nightmares are made of.

        • allannon

          Thanks. That’s _just_ what I needed to read.

          I’m going to invest in a flamethrower now, just in case those ever somehow hitch a ride to north America. 😉

          • iksnilol

            I feel sorry for those soldiers, only armed with flamethrowers. Personally I would use napalm on the Hive while wearing some bomb disposal armor.

          • aylatrigger

            They are already here. There’s been some spotted in Illinois and Nebraska.

          • Nicholas Mew

            You guys and the European and Africanized Bees are so fucked.

          • Karina

            Good thing flamethrowers are legal to own and purchase. I hear the only issue is how expensive they are.

      • True and necrosis is certainly nothing to take lightly!

      • noob

        The Swarm with Michael Caine was a film about this with african killer bees in texas in 1978.

        spoiler alert: Man portable flamethrowers are useless. Using vehicle mounted incendiaries provides the movie’s climax.

        “I don’t want to be the first General in history who got his ass kicked by bees.”

  • John Sjöström

    Didn’t know that they still used flamethrowers today. =O Look like very precise shooting. Very intresting to see bipods also on it. Wont take long for a american Company to make rail for it.

    • Rob in Katy

      Only the USA has given up on them, better to kill off 50 of our troops than fry a few of the other guys….

      • Joe Schmoe

        No, the U.S. (and Russia) have just gone after a far more effective means called “thermobaric weapons”. U.S. examples (for infantry) include the XM1060 and the SMAW-NE.

        The U.S. did have a brief stint with the other replacement for the flamethrower, the M202 FLASH.

        • Steve (TFB Editor)

          Yep indeed. Also there is that downside of using chemical weapons in combat, that the otherside is going to charge any captured troops with war crimes.

  • Pete Sheppard

    They should have gone after the nest at night–even hornets sleep.

  • TangledThorns

    SyFy channel has its next movie idea, lol.

    • sauerquint

      Sharknado will be hard to top.

      • noob


        • JW


          • Cornelius Carroll

            Sharknado was so fantastically horrible that I might actually tune in to watch.

  • bbmg

    they could have just sent in the bees!

    • Julio

      That worked!


  • A_Lee

    Impressed with the range and accuracy of that flamethrower. Also, the nonchalance of everyone involved.

    • xyz

      Flamethrowers have a pretty short range compared to most infantry weapons, but even then most WWII flamethrowers could shoot over 20 metres (66 ft). In the clip the narrator says that the nest was on a 20-something-metre high treetop, so if the soldiers stood on the slope, they could just about reach it with some margin, as we saw. And since they shoot highly pressurised liquid they’re pretty accurate too (think Supersoakers).

      I think most people imagine that they are short-ranged and inaccurate because they saw them in films, where for safety reasons the prop flamethrower shoots propane gas, which gives very short and inaccurate flame.

    • S O

      The range depends on the fuel used. The thicker (due to additives), the more range is possible. Flamethrower tanks of WW2 had 150 metres range, while crew-served ones were often limited to 30 metres.

  • patrickiv

    Didn’t I see this a long time ago?

  • TDog

    In regards to the bipod, there are some videos showing the PLA training with these flamethrowers and the pressure they exhibit seems more akin to a fire hose than an old style World War II flamethrower.

  • lapkonium

    Strangely enough, Russian rocket-propelled RPO flamethrower system ( is nicknamed “bumblebee” – what a coincidence! I wonder if it would work better than this squirting approach…

    • iksnilol

      Russians combined flamethrowers with RPGs? You guys should stay on friendly terms with them.

      • Joe Schmoe

        The U.S. did the same thing with the M202 FLASH.

        No one bothers using them anymore, thermobaric warheads are far more effective.

  • Lance

    Love it its our way toget around class 3 weapons there not a flame thrower its a bug killer. LOL
    Need to find a pest that’s needs a M-79 to wipe out thought????? LOL

    • sauerquint

      To my knowledge, flame throwers are not restricted items, At least federally.

  • Patrick Mingle

    I for one am glad that for the most part we dont have “giant” anythings in the united states

  • That Steve Guy

    I’d say nuke it from orbit … it’s the only way to be sure.

    • Somebody has been watching Starship Troopers:-)

      • Beaumont

        Actually, that line is from “Aliens”. Michael Biehn’s best line of his career.

        • scw

          Ripley said it before Hicks.

    • Aaron E

      Go out there with those things crawling around … you can count me out! Yeah, Bishop should go, let Bishop go!

  • Graham 1

    Well… That’s definitely a way to do it.

  • gunsandrockets

    IIRC chinese flamethrower is a three shot weapon pressurized by pyrotechnic cartridges. Three fuel storage tanks, each with one cartridge. Makes for a somewhat lighter and simpler system than the handheld U.S. flamethrower of WWII era.

    That old U.S. weapon though could fire ‘wet shots’, use different types of fuel mixtures, and perform other nasty tricks because of it’s complexity.

  • MP

    Didn’t think a flamethrower would create so much buzz.