The Oriental hornet, Vespa orientalis, is a social insect of the family Vespidae. It can be found in Southwest Asia, Northeast Africa, the island of Madagascar, the Middle East, Central Asia and parts of Southern Europe. Oriental hornets have also been found in a few isolated locations such as Mexico due to human introduction. The Oriental hornet lives in seasonal colonies consisting of caste system dominated by a queen. The hornet builds its nests underground and communicates using sound vibrations. The hornet has a yellow stripe on its cuticle (exoskeleton) which can absorb sunlight to generate a small electrical potential, and it has been suggested that this might help supply energy for digging. The adult hornet eats nectar and fruits and scavenges for insects and animal proteins to feed to their young. Because they are scavengers, the hornets may also serve as a transmitter of disease following consumption of infected plants. The hornets are a primary pest to honey bees, attacking bee colonies to obtain honey and animal proteins. The sting of an Oriental hornet can be quite painful to humans and some humans are allergic to stings.