As we are all anxious about taking that step outside and returning to some kind of normality, we now have another threat to contend with – giant “murder hornets”.
The two-inch long Asian giant hornets have been described as some kind of “monster cartoon” with a venomous sting that make it their mission to destroy bee hives.
Native to east Asia, they have been spotted in the U.S. for the first time, specifically Washington state, and it’s scaring residents silly.
A resident found the nearly 2-inch hornet in Blaine, a city in the US-Canada border, the Washington State Department of Agriculture reported.
It’s thought the giant hornet likely came from Canada after Wildlife officials in British Columbia found (and quickly destroyed) a colony of Asian giant hornets in August 2019, according to CNN News.
These giant global travelers have even been spotted in the UK as recently as October.
‘Something out of a monster cartoon’
But they’re not hungry for us, unless you happen to disturb a nest, they’re after our endangered honeybees.
“They’re like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face,” Susan Cobey, a bee breeder at the Washington State University’s department of entomology, said as per CNN.
“Hornets are most destructive in the late summer and early fall, when they are on the hunt for sources of protein to raise next year’s queens,” said Seth Truscott from Washington State University, according to CNN.
“They attack honeybee hives, killing adult bees and devouring bee larvae and pupae, while aggressively defending the occupied colony,” he added.
‘Multiple stings can kill humans’
“Their stings are big and painful, with a potent neurotoxin. Multiple stings can kill humans, even if they are not allergic.”
Washington state agricultural officials are asking beekeepers and residents to report any sightings and have launched an app so people can do so.
Experts say just a few of these giant insects can destroy a beehive within hours, a scary thought when you consider how crucial our endangered bees are to the world’s food industry.
As if life wasn’t terrifying enough right now. Let’s hope the experts can act against these worrying insects quickly and effectively. Please share.