written by: @dawnnnyy_
The deadly Asian hornet that measures up to 2 inches long has been discovered in the U.S. for the first time.
The largest hornet specifies in the world, also known as the “murder hornet” or the “Giant Sparrow Bee,” is known for knocking out entire bee colonies within hours and their powerful stingers that can puncture beekeeping suits.
The New York Times reported, “With queens that can grow to two inches long, Asian giant hornets 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. For larger targets, the hornet’s potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin.”
Beekeepers in Washington state have already found hundreds of decapitated honey bees in their hives. Researchers are worried that the killer insect is colonizing since their presence is life-threatening. According to the New York Post, Japan attributes 50 deaths per year to the killer insect.
Justin O. Schmidt, an entomologist at the Southwest Biological Institute in Tucson, Arizona, explained, “The murder hornet’s toxic venom destroys red blood cells, which can result in kidney failure and death.”
Researchers are working on a way to halt the colonizing of deadly murder hornets.
“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Chris Looney, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, told the Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”