It is called the”murder hornet” in Asia and it’s made its way into the USA.
The world’s biggest hornet, Vespa mandarinia, has been discovered in Washington State, at the northwest of the nation, where entomologists are plotting to eliminate the species until it wipes out bee populations.
The hornet, that can be approximately 5 centimeters long, commonly resides in the woods and low mountains of southern and southeast Asia. It feeds on large insects like wasps and honeybees and contains a string that could be deadly to people.
“If somebody stumbles across a nest and you get stung with some of those hornets, then it can create serious health issues, particularly if a person is allergic to these kinds of stings,” states Todd Murray, an entomologist at Washington State University.
WSU researchers are currently working together with the Washington State Department of Agriculture, beekeepers, and neighborhood inhabitants to locate it, research it, and also help curb its spread.
Beekeeping suits will not stop them
A lot of people in Western Europe might already be knowledgeable about Vespa velutina, a smaller but also very competitive hornet out of Asia that steps approximately 3 centimeters.
“They are like something from a monster animation with this enormous yellow-orange confront,” explained Susan Cobey, bee breeder using Washington State University’s Department of Entomology.
It’s been dubbed the”murder hornet” in Japan, where it’s proven to kill around 50 individuals per year in Japan, based on The New York Times.
Its huge stinger can punch through routine beekeeping suits — several times — and will deliver almost seven times the quantity of venom for a honeybee.
In British Columbia, Canada, in which Asian giant hornets were spotted this past year, a beekeeper tasked with destroying their nest had been stung multiple times. He awakened the pain out of their sting to”having red-hot thumbtacks” pushed into his flesh.
However, what specialists are worried about is its capability to devastate US bee populations, that have been decreasing.
“Our greatest fear is it will really impact modest beekeepers and perhaps push them out of business and also increase costs for bigger beekeepers. It is just something we do not need to see happen,” explained Chris Looney, an entomologist in the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
The Asian giant hornet’s life cycle starts in April, when queens emerge from hibernation, feed on plant sap and fruit, and search for underground dens to construct their nests.
Hornets are destructive in the late summer and early autumn, when they assault honey bee hives, murdering mature bees and parasitic larvae and pupae, based on Washington State University.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture has arranged specially reinforced lawsuits from China and is presently working to snare the hornet’s queens.