Giant ‘murder’ hornets with a deadly sting have invaded the US from Asia and are threatening the bee population – The Sun

A DEADLY species of giant hornet has invaded the US from Asia for the first time and threatens to decimate bee populations and inflict brutal – even deadly – stings on human casualties.

One epidemiologist believes the giant Asian "murder hornets" – first spotted in Washington state this past fall – need to be destroyed before it is too late.



Chris Looney says the giant Asian hornets tear up entire bee colonies by decapitating the bee's heads with their jaws and feeding the thoraxes to their young, in a report as cited by the NYT.

Beekeeper Ted McFall said he arrived to check on a group of hives near Custer, Wash., in November, and was shocked to find thousands and thousands of bee carcasses on the ground, with their heads torn from their bodies.

Mr McFall suspects the so-called "murder hornets" were to blame.

For the first time, the Asian giant hornets have been sighted in the US.

In their native Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year.

'HOT METAL INTO SKIN'

Queen hornets can grow up to two inches long, and "can use mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to wipe out a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the bees and flying away with the thoraxes to feed their young", the NTY report said.

The hornet’s potent venom and stinger is long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit and the sting has been likened to hot metal driving into skin.

Conrad Bérubé, a beekeeper and entomologist in the town of Nanaimo in Vancouver Island, said he was stung in the leg and through his bee suit by a killer hornet in November.

“It was like having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into my flesh,” he explained.

The hornet looks fierce with a face featuring Spider-Man like eyes, orange and black stripes that extend down its body like a tiger, and wings like a dragonfly.

It was like having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into my flesh.

The unwelcome invaders are expected to be much more active now that Spring is here and summer approaches.

Mr Looney, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, says the invasion is a "serious problem".

He has urged scientists to get rid of them, saying: “This is our window to keep it from establishing".

“If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done," he added.

Homemade hornet traps have been set up in the hopes of keeping the population at bay and to track where they think the hornets are.

Scientists plan to use radio-frequency identification tags on the insects and track where they go with the idea being they'll lead them to the nest(s).

The plan is to destroy the hornets and take out entire colonies at a time.

Asian hornets contain a neurotoxin that can kill in just a single sting.

The sting also holds eight chemicals that can cause an allergic shock in humans.

They are large insects measuring almost 2in long, originally from Southeast Asia, that prey on small creatures – especially bees.



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