Murder hornets "decapitate" bees, UT expert says not to panic
May 06 2020
So-called "murder hornets" are attacking beehives in the United States for the first time, and can potentially be fatal to humans.
The world's largest hornet, a 2-inch killer dubbed the "Murder Hornet" with an appetite for honey bees, has been found in Washington state, where entomologists were making plans to wipe it out.
Researchers nicknamed the bugs "Murder hornets" because several of their stings at once can kill a human, and stingers are strong enough to puncture a beekeeper's suit.
This hornet's sting contains a powerful neurotoxin, packing almost seven times the amount of venom as a honey bee sting, Washington officials said.
One of the world's deadliest insects is now in the USA and scientists have no idea how they got here.
Scientist are still attempting to determine how the hornets got here but according to the Washington Post they have determine two possibilities.
However, the hornet's reputation for "murder" is not entirely unfounded. While the hornets do not generally target people or pets, they can attack when threatened. Their stings can be painful, but they are not considered aggressive and they do not have nest-guarding instincts like bees or hornets, according to the University of Kentucky Entomology Department.
Since initial reports in early December, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has notified residents of multiple counties to be on the lookout for the giant hornets, which "threaten honeybees and all the crops they pollinate". The hornets can destroy a honeybee hive in a matter of hours. Mated queens emerge when the temperature warms between mid-March and May and eat sap for energy to start a new colony. Your new opponent: Giant "Murder" Hornets from Asia. Their six-millimeter-long stinger is said to inflict excruciating pain and deliver a potent neurotoxin, although scientists say they are largely uninterested in people. "Asian giant hornets are large-headed and can vary in colour from different shades of orange, yellow and brown".
The hornets made their first North American appearance in August 2019, in British Columbia, Canada.
"They will actually decapitate them and then they feed their young with those", said beekeeper Lee Rockafellow.
The question is: could murder hornets make it to MI?
The state Department of Agriculture will begin trapping queens this spring, with a focus on Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, and Island counties. Can we squeeze a quick World War 3 in the fall just to make this year a true fully-formed nightmare?
"Pollination is a huge part of agriculture and the agricultural systems we have here in the United States".