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Nature & Environment

'Murder hornets' have reportedly entered the US

By T.K. Randall
May 3, 2020 · Comment icon 44 comments

You don't want to get stung by one of these. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Thomas Brown
An invasive species of giant hornet has the potential to devastate honey bee populations, experts have warned.
More commonly known as the Asian giant hornet, these huge wasp-like insects have already proven a problematic invasive species in Europe and now it looks as though they have arrived in the US as well.

According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, there have been two reports of the insects near Blaine as well as additional unconfirmed reports from sites in the Custer area.

Measuring 1.8 inches long and with a venomous stinger quarter-of-an-inch in length, the Asian giant hornet can actually prove lethal to humans and is responsible for up to 50 deaths a year in Japan.

In addition, these predatory insects are known to attack honey bees which (unlike their Japanese counterparts) have no innate defense against them.
As a result, even a small number of hornets can totally devastate an entire honey bee colony.

"They're like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face," said Susan Cobey, a bee breeder with Washington State University's Department of Entomology.

Officials in the state are now working to set up traps and to track down and destroy their nests.

"It's a shockingly large hornet," said entomologist Todd Murray. "It's a health hazard, and more importantly, a significant predator of honey bees."

"As a new species entering our state, this is the first drop in the bucket. Just like that, it's forever different. We need to teach people how to recognize and identify this hornet while populations are small, so that we can eradicate it while we still have a chance."

Source: CBS News | Comments (44)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #35 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 4 years ago
This article seems a bit more level headed.
Comment icon #36 Posted by HandsomeGorilla 4 years ago
By far the largest threat is the decimation of the local honey bee populations rather than worry so much about people getting stung.  The general seems to be that yes the venom is... Venomous... But really nothing special in regards to being a threat to humans. You're still just as likely to die from a sting if you're allergic, doesn't matter what you get stung by.  I mean don't go petting the ****ers and I think we'll be aight 
Comment icon #37 Posted by Nuclear Wessel 4 years ago
Comment icon #38 Posted by InconceivableThoughts 4 years ago
I have no clue why but this insect mob murder gave me immense satisfaction.
Comment icon #39 Posted by TripGun 4 years ago
I can put up a good fight against them with 5 liters of petrol and a tennis racket.
Comment icon #40 Posted by godnodog 4 years ago
the problem is not the amount of people they kill, the problem is that a swarm can kill you, and due to its size a lower number of bees  might be enough.
Comment icon #41 Posted by Festina 4 years ago
Women at work.! That was GREAT!  Thanks.. All honey bee workers are girls...the males only exist to impregnate the queen and then they die. Very sad nature story but nature is a harsh mistress.  The tune is fitting..(valkyries are female warriors)             
Comment icon #42 Posted by Festina 4 years ago
Me too.  
Comment icon #43 Posted by Matt221 4 years ago
i guess"murder"hornets  is a bit more catchy than "Just doin what they are put on this earth to do"hornets
Comment icon #44 Posted by Still Waters 4 years ago

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