Japanese honeybees learned how to ‘cook’ murder hornet

Japanese honeybees learned how to ‘cook’ murder hornet

They can sting multiple times and have powerful venom that can inflict serious injury, or in some cases, death.

These so-called "murder hornets" represent a threat to the honeybee population.

By Planakis estimates, the hornets is expected to make their way East within the next two to three years.

They use sharp fins to decapitate bees and take their bodies to feed to their young, and human victims of the sting described it as similar to "hot metal driving into their skin", the report said. While a honeybee hive can have thousands of residents, hornets can wipe out the entire population in hours. Male cicada killers live only a couple weeks, time they spend patrolling their territories, battling with other males and mating.

In addition to the sightings in northwest Washington, Asian giant hornets have been found across the border in southwest British Columbia, including a colony that was eradicated on Vancouver Island last September.

"Murder hornets", known officially as Asian giant hornets, Vespa mandarinia, have made their first appearance in the United States.

But while officials are enlisting the public's help in locating the hornets, they're also encouraging people to be cautious.

Already susceptible to varroa mites, colony collapse disorder and neonicotinoid pesticides, honeybees would be imperiled by this additional threat.

Populations of honeybees and other pollinators in the United States were already under pressure. If you think you've come across a murder hornet, Tsurda said that you can reach out to your local UT extension office.

The giant hornets especially target bees between late summer and fall.

Planakis told the Post, "I showed them a picture of it, and they go, 'What the hell is that?' I go, 'That is an Asian hornet".

Just a handful of hornets can destroy a beehive in a matter of hours, according to Washington's department of agriculture. But European honeybees, which are the main species cultivated in North America, don't have those same defences.

In a less likely scenario, Looney said, someone might have transported the hornets here to cultivate them as a food source. While they may be few in number now, Thompson said the question we face is, 'Should we concentrate on getting rid of them right now so they don't increase in number as invasive species do?' When they find it, they mark where the nest is.

Regular beekeeping suits are poor protection against this hornet's sting, said Looney, as the hornets' long stingers can penetrate ordinary suits. Even in people who have no allergies, multiple stings can be deadly, per the WSU release.

It's been reported that in Japan, where these things originated, they are credited with killing up to 50 people a year.

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