The Asian Murder Hornets, a species of invasive hornet, were first discovered by Entomologists on October 24, 2020 in a tree in Blaine, Washington after the local residents contacted the authorities. Originating from Japan, they were said to have made their way to the United States. However, the motivation for their relocation in America remained unknown.
A resident of Washington by the name of Ted Mcfalls, who has been beekeeping for decades, found a mess of bee carcasses on the ground when he went to check on a group of hives near Custer, Washington. “I couldn’t wrap my head around what could have done that,” he stated. According to The New York times, a pile of dead members of the colony laid in front of a hive and there is more carnage inside — thousands and thousands of bees with their heads torn from their bodies and no sign of a culprit. Completedly baffled, Mr. Mcfalls contacted 911 immediately, and only later did scientists realize that this may be the work of Murder Hornets.
With Murder Hornets on the lose, the reaction of scientists were both shocked and worried, due to the fact that they could have spread very widely in a short amount of time. While Murder Hornets could easily decimate a whole honeybee colony within as little as a few hours time, they are also capable of kiling a human with a couple of their venomous stings.
The Murder Hornets were tracked down and exterminated by scientists. As maintained by science news, several scientists have managed to attach radio trackers to a Murder Hornet, which led the them to their nest. The hornet nest was later brought to a research center by the Washington State Department of Agriculture. After being split open and examined by scientists, two hornet queens were captured alive.
Each year, Murder Hornets killed up to 50 people in Japan. So far, there have not been any victims in the US. Many victims from Japan had expressed that the Murder Hornet sting feels like metal driving through your skin. Although a single sting from a Murder Hornet will not kill you, the poison it contained can cause kidney failure and other possible side effects. Their venom is so potent, stated CBS news, that it can dissolve human flesh and can kill a mouse in as little as a few seconds.
The Asian Murder Hornet is the largest species of a hornet. As stated in The New York times, the Murder Hornet has a 2 inch long black body with madibles shaped like shark fins that help them kill. In addition, their stingers are long and are strong enough to puncture a beekeeper’s suit.
A Murder Hornet’s diet consists mainly of large insects like honeybees and wasps, but occassionally they consume honey and certain types of fruit. According to CNN.com, the Murder Hornet does not eat humans or any other animals, but they will sting humans if they are provoked or feel threatened. It was said that 4 Murder Hornets can kill a whole honey beehive within just a few hours. Honey bees often found themselves to be the main targets of the Murder Hornets, who kill them for their larvae and food. This shows just how threatening Murder Hornets are to agriculture, as honeybees are necessary for the pollination of many crops.
The Washington state is currently in the process of taking down their Murder Hornet traps for the winter, as the hornets either die or hibernate during this time of the year. Scientists are trying to study dead Murder hornets this winter for research purposes as well as to find out new discoveries about them.