In the 2020 sub-plot that no one needed, a new deadly species of hornets have arrived in the US. According to the New York Times, the hornets, which are common in Japan, have been known to kill up to 50 people per year.
And now, these Asian giant hornets, commonly referred to as “murder hornets,” were first identified in Washington state last autumn as reported by the New York Times.
And in January of this year, in the regions of Blaine and Bellingham, Washington, two more sightings of the murder hornets were confirmed by the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s website. These insets are identified by their 1.5 to 2 inch-long bodies which have black and yellow stripes with bright orange heads.
This particular species of hornets are the largest hornet species in the world. But what has officials most concerned is the fact that their presence could spell disaster for the bee population in the US – since they’re facing a decline.
As Time Magazine released in a report, these hornets victimize bees during what’s described as a “slaughter phase.” During this time, the hornets decapitate the bees and take over their hives. This “Game of Thrones” style hostility can last a few hours.
As terrifying as these insects sound, what is more scary is the fact that bee populations can experience a major decline should these hornets continue to spread across the country – and that could heavily impact crops which rely on bees for pollination.
According to Time, officials have stated that these hornets are at their most active during the late summer and early fall seasons.
And if bee population decimation isn’t enough to worry about these hornets, they can also be a threat to humans. The Times has reported that their stingers are much larger than a bee’s, plus they’re more toxic and can deliver multiple stings.
The one good thing is they won’t normally attack humans and pets unless they feel under threat.
After the report by the New York Times was released, “hornet” became one of the top trending search terms within the US.
As if a global pandemic wasn’t enough, now we have to keep an eye out for “murder hornets.”
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.