Researchers Scramble to Eradicate 'Murder Hornet' Species in US

The comedian Patton Oswalt shared the story and wrote "murder hornets".

Beekeepers in Washington have already seen the hornets devastate their hives; Japan attributes 50 human deaths a year to the nasty buzzers, which have "teardrop eyes like Spider-Man, orange and black stripes that extend down its body like a tiger, and broad, wispy wings like a small dragonfly", according to the New York Times. They attack and destroy honeybee hives, entering a "slaughter phase" where they literally decapitate bees and take the hive as their own, using the thoraxes from the dead bees to feed their young, according to the WSDA.

The good news (we think) is that the entomologists and other experts working on this issue have been setting up homemade hornet traps in hopes of keeping the population at bay, and they've also created a grid of where they think the hornets are. But it is most risky for the European honeybee, which is defenseless in the face of the hornet's spiky mandibles, long stinger and potent venom.

"Murder Hornets" doing what "Murder Hornets" do, apparently. They also have poisonous venom, with stingers that can penetrate a beekeeping suit.

The decapitation has a goal. The insects have also now been spotted in Washington state.

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At this point, the murder hornets have been spotted across both the USA and Canada with little information available regarding where they're specifically inhabiting.

"It's a shockingly large hornet", Todd Murray, Washington State University Extension entomologist and invasive species specialist, said in a statement.

Scientists are reportedly seeking to track the invasive species to prevent further bee colonies from being eradicated while attempting to reduce the murder hornet population, The Hill reported. "If we can't do it in the next couple of years, it probably can't be done".

Out of all the years for this to happen, of course, it's 2020, right?

  • Delia Davidson