Scientists find first ‘murder hornets’ nest in US
Published: 03:17 PM, 24 October 2020 Updated: 03:18 PM, 24 October 2020
Asian giant hornets also known as ‘murder hornets’
Scientists in the northwest United States have found and located the country’s first nest of Asian giant hornets, which is known as ‘murder hornets’.
“Entomologists discovered the nest inside the cavity of a tree on a property in Blaine, a small town on the state’s northern border with Canada,” the Washington State Department of Agriculture said in a statement on Friday.
The agency said its team observed “dozens of hornets” entering and exiting the tree. “We are planning to eradicate the nest on Saturday. However, poor weather forced it to delay plans,” it said.
The department’s statements read: “Asian giant hornets, an invasive pest not native to the US, are the world’s largest hornet and a predator of honey bees and other insects.”
“A small group of Asian giant hornets can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours,” it added.
The two-inch insects known as ‘murder hornets’ due to their strong sting which can be fatal to humans. The insect was first spotted in the US in December 2019 when the Washington State Department of Agriculture verified two reported sightings near Blaine.
Asian giant hornets can sting through most beekeeper suits, deliver nearly “seven times” the amount of venom as a honey bee, and sting multiple times, AP news agency reported.
Washington State Department of Agriculture also cautioned that the hornets are not generally aggressive towards humans, but they can pose a “health threat”.
“Their string is more dangerous than that of local bees and wasps and can cause severe pain, swelling, necrosis, and, in rare cases, even death,” it says on its website.
The scientists discovered the nest after four live hornets were found in two separate traps on October 21 and October 22, the department added in its statement on Friday.
Source: Al Jazeera