Potentially fatal 'murder hornet' spreads across the globe to the US

Potentially fatal 'murder hornet' spreads across the globe to the US

Potentially fatal 'murder hornet' spreads across the globe to the US

While the news is only breaking now, the Asian giant hornets were actually spotted in the U.S.in December of a year ago, in Washington State.

The Murder Hornets, which are technically referred to as Asian giant hornets, or Vespa mandarinia, are the world's largest hornets. The hornets-which have been blamed for 50 deaths a year in Japan-have been spotted in Washington, and according to the New York Times, can rip through a hive, killing a bee every 14 seconds.

They use sharp fins to decapitate bees and take their bodies to feed to their young, and human victims of the sting described it as similar to "hot metal driving into their skin", the report said. Its sting can penetrate a regular beekeeper's suit, and state scientists had to order special reinforced suits.

"The most likely time to catch Asian giant hornets is from July through October - when colonies are established and workers are out foraging", Washington State Department of Agriculture said in a statement.

Scientists are now on a hunt for the hornets, hoping to eradicate the species before they wipe out U.S. bees.

The hornets were first spotted in Washington state in December, and scientists believe they started becoming active again last month. As reported by Wired, if the hornets don't see you as a threat, they'll leave you alone - like most animals. The website now has photos and information about various types of hornets and wasps to help people to distinguish what type of insect they see, but they say when in doubt, please report. 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.

"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, " Murray said. "If you get into them, run away, then call us!"

Potentially fatal 'murder hornet' spreads across the globe to the US

The hornet is not known to occur in North Carolina, and agriculture department apiary staff have been actively monitoring for the pest with no detection to date.

The Asian giant hornet is classified as a serious honeybee predator.

"Pollination is a huge part of agriculture and the agricultural systems we have here in the United States".

This isn't the first time an invasive insect with a menacing name has spooked Americans.

Intentional transport of the killer bug into the United States would violate federal law.

"What we are told from the literature is that most people can survive one or two stings", he said.

Asian giant hornets hunt insects for food and generally are not interested in humans, pets and livestock.

Researchers Try to Head Off "Murder Hornets" Coming into US
But Asian giant hornets have been in British Columbia for some time , with the first hornets spotted near Nanaimo in August 2019. It's only May and we're already beset with a global Coronavirus pandemic and murderous hornets the size of a thumb.

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