Invasive Giant Murder Hornets Just Came to the U.S.
At least two sightings of Asian giant hornets in December have been confirmed by the state of Washington. These killer hornets are now coming out of winter hibernation.
BLAINE, WASHINGTON — Last December, the Washington State Department of Agriculture confirmed two reports of Asian giant hornets in Blaine, Washington. Two more unconfirmed sightings were reported in Custer, Washington. These killer hornets are now coming out of winter hibernation.
Asian giant hornets can measure between 1.5 to 2 inches, or 3.8 to 25 centimeters, in length. They have stingers that deliver venom to their victims and mandibles capable of decapitating bees.
According to the WSU Insider, the Asian giant hornet queen wakes from hibernation in April, finds nourishment and then looks for a place to establish a colony that will later go out to bring back food.
The bee population in the United States is most threatened by these hornets from late summer to early fall. While they hunt for food for their next queens, the hornets will decapitate honey bees and eat the bee's larvae and pupae.
Well, you might be thinking, isn't this just nature? The circle of life, so to speak? Nope, not really. First off, we don't know how these hornets made it to the U.S., but they have never been found in the country before, so this new species is an invader and definitely a threat to beekeepers.
Still not feeling like this pertains to you? A threat to bees means a threat to human food production. We need bees in order for many key crops to be pollinated.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than a third of all American crop production requires insects to help pollinate, and the primary pollinator is, you guessed it, honey bee colonies.
So, what can you do? Well, if you live in the States, keep an eye out for these murderous buggers and call local authorities if you are unlucky enough to spot one.
But in your quest to take down the murder hornet invasion, please be aware of their painful, toxin-ridden sting. Oh, and If you're allergic to bees, then definitely stay away because their sting could easily cause a severe anaphylactic shock and even, well, death.
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