Murder Hornets arrive in the United States: have the potential to diminish bee population

Lauren Guss, Staff Writer

   Asian Giant Hornets, otherwise known as “Murder Hornets,” have arrived and established in the US from likely East, South and Mainland Southeast Asia and parts of Russia in the far East. They have been witnessed decapitating honey bees in Washington State, and nests have been found and demolished in British Columbia. They are reportedly five times larger than the average honey bee.

   Using their venomous stingers, these dastardly insects can kill a whole bee colony in the span of a couple hours. They are responsible for the deaths of at least 50 people in Japan annually, according to the New York Times, and their sting is comparable to having hot metal driven into one’s skin. These hornets can be around two inches long and can puncture a beekeeping suit. 

   The species’ main prey is honey bees, but the bees know how to combat their fate if a Murder Hornet enters their hive. They surround the bug completely and vibrate their wings collectively, raising the body temperature of the bees. The center of the bee-pile is the hottest and can reach 122 degrees Fahrenheit, as stated by Associate Professor and Curator of Insects at the Florida Museum of Natural History, Akito Y Kawahara. This “scorches” the hornet and eventually leads to its death. 

   Although they do have harmful effects on humans, this invasive species is not a top concern to citizens at the time. There is no evidence yet that they are anywhere else besides northwest Washington and British Columbia. If anyone sees these hornets or their nests, they are asked to take a picture from a safe distance and report to the Washington State Department of Agriculture. 

   Be careful, Cats, and stay away from these harmful insects!