Invasive ‘murder hornets’ species spotted in the United States
Researchers in Washington have recently been tracking the arrival of an invasive hornet in the United States. Also known as “murder hornets,” these giant insects are commonly found in Asia and have not ever been seen before in the USA.
According to Susan Cobey, a bee breeder at Washington State University, these hornets are almost comically large, growing up to two inches long. They’re like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face, Susan Cobey, via Slate.
They’re reportedly vicious, with one beekeeper likening the experience of being stung to “having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into [his] flesh.”.
In some cases, the toxic venom released by the hornets is the equivalent of a venomous snake and can be deadly. While most people are worried about being stung, officials are more worried about their possible decimation of bee populations in the USA.
Murder hornets use their spiked mandibles to decapitate bees and feed on their bodies. They have the power to decimate entire honeybee hives in only a matter of hours.
This is our window to keep it from establishing … If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done, Chris Looney, WSDA, to ‘NYT’.