In case you are wondering if things are as bad as the headline makes things out to be, it is. Or at least it could be if we don’t act fast. The Asian giant hornet a.k.a. the “murder hornet” has arrived in Washington State from Asia. What makes this species of hornet (Vespa mandarinia) so scary is its size, aggressiveness, the size of its stinger, and the toxicity of the venom in its stinger. These hornets, when provoked, can injure and even kill people in rare instances. In a particularly bad stretch of time between July and October of 2013, these hornets killed 41 people and injured another 1,600 in the Shaanxi Province in Northwestern China.
However, that’s not what has scientists most worried! What has scientists worried is the fact that these hornets aggressively target the hives of honeybees, decapitating them in a brutal onslaught. They do this so that they can turn the hive into a nest to feed their young. Mother nature is vicious! Damn!
At this point, what scientists are hoping to do is track these hornets closely, eradicate them, and make sure they don’t become a major threat to bees across the country. Bees are vital to our ecosystem, so anything that threatens them threatens us. If you see an Asian giant hornet, contact scientists and let them know. They want to get as much data as possible.