‘Murder hornet’ enters the United States


Washington State Department of Agriculture

The Asian giant hornet, also known as Vespa mandarinia, has recently come to the United States. The hornet is recognizable by it’s cartoonish scowl, with teardrop black eyes, and ‘spiked shark fin’ mandibles.

I’m convinced that we are living in the apocalypse. 

The Asian giant hornet, commonly known as the ‘murder hornet’, kills bees by detaching the bee’s body from its head. The hornet has a stinger that is longer and more lethal than the average bee’s. It can also sting multiple times before dying. The murderous bee’s sting has been described as searing, extremely painful, and can be lethal. The hornet is common in Japan, where the insect kills up to 50 people every year.

It is now in the United States, first spotted in Dec. in Blaine, Wash.

Courtesy of Washington State Department of Agriculture
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) shows us how big the Asian giant hornet is in comparison to similar bee species.

The murder hornet can potentially damage the country’s honey supply. After a hornet invasion in Europe, honey production went down more than 60%, the New York Times reported. This could be bad news for the United States if the hornet spreads across the country, considering that the bee population is already in trouble.

Scientists in Wash. are working hard to eradicate the hornet and stop it’s spread.

“We need to teach people how to recognize and identify this hornet,” said Todd Murray, WSU entomologist, and invasive species specialist. “So that we can eradicate it while we still have a chance.”

In light of the Asian hornet’s arrival in the States, the topic ‘Murder Hornet’ was trending on Twitter Saturday, with many people talking about how 2020 is the worst year. One user writes, ‘2020 is definitely not getting any better’. Others say that we do not know enough information about the hornets to panic just yet.

Though the hornet is now in the United States, the danger it poses to the average person is very low for the moment, WSDA entomologist Chris Looney said, while giving a presentation on the insect in March. When asked about what a person should do if they come into contact with the hornet, Looney gave the advice to “just run away”.

This story uses sources from articles written by CNN, NYT, and CBS.