Murder Hornets


ABC News

An asian giant hornet, commonly known as a murder hornet.

Adam Khogyani, Columnist

On October 23, 2020, ABC News released an article about recent sightings of “murder hornets,” also known as asian giant hornets. These hornets have been found in Blaine, a city in Washington near the Canadian border. According to The Independent, these Asian Giant Hornets root from Asia, and are the largest hornets in the world.

This hornet’s name comes from the devastation of honeybees, and their ability to be fatal to humans. Asia reports around 30 to 50 deaths a year from the “murder hornets”; anaphylactic shock and cardiac arrest are the main causes for these deaths. The hornets are a major threat to honeybees, and a couple of them can take down a beehive in only a few hours. Many people were left to question where these hornets are across the globe. ABC News also states that the hornets were spotted late last year. Ever since then, entomologists have kept an eye out for the hornets. Once the sightings in Blaine were reported, the Washington State Department of Entomologists was able to track down the nest, and was surprised to find the nest of hornets in a tree. They expected it to be in the ground, as that’s where they’re usually found, and decided to destroy it the next day. They stuffed jelly foam in the tree to attract the hornets, then vacuumed them. The entomologists said they would be cutting down the tree to make sure there are no queen hornets. Interestingly enough, how they were able to find the nest took a lot of work. CNN News states that they had captured hornets and then attached radio trackers to find the hornets’ nest. Unfortunately, one of the hornets was able to escape, and was said to have gone through a bush, and the radio tracker broke. Hopefully all these hornets have been caught. Although not likely, they could mass produce, spreading across the United States. Entomologists cannot stress enough how dangerous they are to honey bees, potentially taking away our sources of food.

If the wasps are not all found, they could be around for the next few generations or longer, causing devastation to honey bees and our crops. The real question is how the hornets made it to the U.S. This answer could give us a better understanding on how other organisms are showing up across the planet.