How Did Asian Murder Hornets Get to the US?

The giant Asian hornet

The giant hornets killed 41 people in the Chinese province of Shaanxi in the summer of 2013.

Sven-Erik Spichiger, managing entomologist at the Washington state Agriculture Department, told Reuters, "an Asian giant hornet can sting you multiple times and deliver larger doses of venom just because of the size of them".

Scientists are now concerned that the hornets have invaded the USA and could destroy the native bee population.

Officially known as the Asian giant hornet, the insects were spotted in the U.S. for the first time in Washington state last December, but are beginning to emerge more frequently as the weather warms up.

Washington State Agricultural officials are stating beekeepers and residents should report any sightings and, if you think you have seen one, report it to the state Department of Agriculture's pest program, desirably, with a photo attached. They're ordering special suits, as the Murder Hornets' stings can get through a regular beekeeper's suit.

This 2-inch giant is the world's largest hornet.

"The most likely time to catch Asian giant hornets is from July through October - when colonies are established and workers are out foraging", Washington State Department of Agriculture said in a statement.

"They were first found on Vancouver Island in 2019".

"They're like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face", WSU bee breeder Susan Cobey said.

Asian giant hornets hunt insects for food and generally are not interested in humans, pets and livestock. "Asian Giant Hornets can significantly impact honey production where they occur naturally or where similar species have been introduced in Europe". "It was like having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into my flesh", he said.

"This time of year we receive a number of reports of "large bees" that typically end up being either cicada killers or European hornets", Marty Benson, Assistant Director for the Indiana DNR said in an email to RTV6. "Insects are frequently transported in global cargo and are sometimes transported deliberately", the WSU release said.

Coyote says don't believe the hype. these little buggers don't even have the most painful sting in the animal kingdom - that's reserved for the executioner Wasp - and they're highly unlikely to kill any Americans, despite their menacing moniker and penchant for decapitating bees.

If you do see an insect that concerns you, report it at 1-866-NO-EXOTIC (663-9684).

Lucky for us, the cicada killer is not almost aggressive as the Asian giant hornet, to honeybees or humans.