No, Americans Do Not Need to Panic About ‘Murder Hornets’
by Alex Fox/Smithsonianmag.com
The Asian giant hornet is a big, mean-looking insect with a potent sting. Their queens can grow to be up to two inches long and their quarter-inch stingers can pierce normal beekeeping attire. They are also voracious predators capable of massacring entire honey bee hives in a matter of hours—decapitating thousands of the hive’s adult bees and absconding with the helpless larvae to feed the hornets’ own brood.
As their name suggests, the hornets are native to Asia, but at the tail end of 2019, they were seen in North America for the first time, reports Mike Baker for the New York Times.
The four confirmed sightings of the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) in the United States, along with two more in Canada, occurred in 2019 between September and December. The American sightings were all of individual hornets, but in September, a nest was found and destroyed on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, reported Sean Boynton for Global News.
The Times’ coverage was widely shared, causing many in the United States to add invasion of the world’s largest hornet to their growing list of concerns for 2020. But are these so-called “murder hornets,” as some researchers call them, really killers? Read More: