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Invasive Asian Giant ‘Murder’ Hornets Spotted in the United States for the First Time

Run away if you see one!

  • These hornets attack honeybee hives and slaughter the bees by ripping off their heads.
  • It can kill humans by inflicting multiple stings.
  • Experts do not recommend dealing with the creatures by yourself.

As if dealing with a pandemic is not enough, humanity has another big problem to face – giant hornets with truly painful stings that can actually kill.

It was reported that Asian giant hornets have been spotted in the United States for the first time. Part of the evidence were the piles of dead bees with their heads ripped off found by beekeepers.

These scary hornets attract and destroy honeybee hives in just a few hours. The hornets kill the bees by decapitating them.

A group of hornets attacking a beehive.

After murdering the bees, the hornets take the hive as their own and takes over the brood to feed their young. The hornets are also known to attack other insects, but they don’t destroy these insects like they do to the bees.

The Asian giant hornet is the largest hornet in the world. A human can die if he gets stung by a hornet multiple times.

According to Susan Cobey, a bee breeder at the Washington State University’s department of entomology, these hornets are “like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face.”

The hornets’ first appearance in the U.S. was at Washington state and scientists are baffled as to how these insects ended up there. According to Seth Truscott of WSU’s college of agricultural, human and natural resource sciences, the hornets can sometimes be transported in international cargo.

They were first seen in the state in December. Scientists think that they started to become active again in April, when the queen hornets get out from hibernation to build nests for their colonies.

An expert handler with a nest of giant hornets.

Truscott said that the hornets are most destructive during late summer and early fall months. During this time, hornets are on the hunt for protein sources, which they need to raise the queens next year.

“They attack honey bee hives, killing adult bees and devouring bee larvae and pupae, while aggressively defending the occupied colony. Their stings are big and painful, with a potent neurotoxin. Multiple stings can kill humans, even if they are not allergic,” he added.

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If you ever spot one of these hornets, the experts advise against dealing with it yourself.

You should run away, said Chris Looney, entomologist of the state Department of Agriculture.

“If you get into them, run away, then call us! It is really important for us to know of every sighting, if we’re going to have any hope of eradication,” he added.

What it’s like to be stung by a Murder Hornet?

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