They are the largest species of hornets in the world — the so called Japanese Murder Hornets, also known as Asian Giant Hornets have been found in Washington State igniting an effort to stop the hornets from making a permanent for hold on the continent of North America where they will decimate Honey Beehives, their preferred food.
Above: Japanese giant hornet pictured in 2017. Wiki Commons.
The Asian Giants grow up to a body length of 45 mm (1.8 in), including a wingspan around 75 mm (3.0 in), and a stinger 6 mm (0.24 in) long, which injects a large amount of potent venom.
According to the New York Times: “With queens that can grow to two inches long, Asian giant hornets can use mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to wipe out a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the bees and flying away with the thoraxes to feed their young. For larger targets, the hornet’s potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin. In Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year. Now, for the first time, they have arrived in the United States.”
Scientists have since embarked on a full-scale hunt for the hornets, worried that the invaders could decimate bee populations in the United States and establish such a deep presence that all hope for eradication could be lost. “This is our window to keep it from establishing,” said Chris Looney, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”
Watch YouTube personality Coyote Peterson getting a brutal sting from one of the hornets below.
The New York Post said: It’s not a matter of if but when the “murder hornet’’ will hit the East Coast, experts warned The Post on Sunday. The deadly meat-eating Asian giant hornet, which has been known to kill up to 50 people a year in Japan, recently surfaced for the first time in the USin Washington state — and New York City beekeepers say there is no way it won’t make its way here, too. “I told the NYPD back in 2012 … ‘Your problem is not the bees. This [the murder hornet] is your problem,’” recalled retired Police Department beekeeper Anthony “Tony Bees” Planakis.
“I showed them a picture of it, and they go, ‘What the hell is that?’ ” Planakis said. “I go, ‘That is an Asian hornet. My [beekeeper’s] suit is useless against that thing.’ ”