Have You Heard About the ‘Murder Hornets?’


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:


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  1. I suspect these hornets arrived in US prior to 2019.
    Prior to 2005. I was sent to meet another truck at a jobsite in Livermore CA to load equipment. The truck I met was the broker so we’re talking standing in front of his truck. Stuck in a headlight assembly, by it’s head was one of these, it’s body hanging out. Neither of us had seen one before, so it piqued our interest. He’d come up the San Joaquin Valley overnight so the grille was layered in bugs.
    Nothing like this one, many insects have been imported into US, including the honeybee. These huge praying mantis also from Asia, about 8 inches long as pest control on Crops, as example. This was back in 2003, or 2004 I think. This hornet stuck in a headlight assembly on a Peterbilt, kind of suggests someone somewhere is not being completely honest.

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