The nests of Asian hornets can be as large as gas bottles... this one was photographed back in 2016 by experts who discovered it in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, UK

Asian hornets attack council workers trying to remove ‘gigantic pine cones’ from tree in Coimbra

In an account that reads like something out of a modern-day twist on Alice in Wonderland, council workers dispatched to remove ‘gigantic pine cones’ from a tree in Tovim de Cima, Coimbra, found themselves attacked by Asian hornets. It is unclear whether the ‘gigantic pine cones’ had any connection with the existence of an equally ‘gigantic’ nest of renegade hornets – but these insects that have been causing such trouble since they arrived in Portugal (click here) did not take kindly to the intrusion by ‘bombeiros sapadores’. Once their nest was ‘deactivated’ (we are not given the details), the ‘technicians of Coimbra Câmara’ were able to advance with the removal of the gigantic pine cones – apparently weighing as much as 2.8 kilos each. One of these cones fell from the tree last week, shattering the rear window of a parked car.