GLENVILLE NY (WRGB) – In the midst of this pandemic comes another potential threat. This one, also originated in Asia and it’s generating a lot of “buzz.”
It’s a deadly insect nicknamed the “Murder Hornet” and they’ve recently been spotted here in the US.
An already rough winter for local Beekeeper Mike Nally’s honeybee population, and then he gets word that this the Asian giant hornet… nicknamed the “murder” hornet has somehow found its way to the Pacific Northwest Coast.
“It’s quite the hornet. It’s a pest, it’s a problem.” says Nally.
The hornet gets its nickname for the damage it does to honeybee colonies by invading their hives and killing them one by one- literally decapitating them and consuming part of their bodies for protein.
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“Apparently they also feed our bees to their young.” Nally says.
Until now, the Murder Hornet was only found in Japan and China and responsible for dozens of deaths a year.
They’re up to inches in length, about the size of your thumb, and present an intimidating appearance.
While it’s honeybees they’re generally after, they’ve been known to attack humans and experts say its no ordinary bee sting.
Their stinger can penetrate a bee suit, the pain described as agonizing along with swelling and potential tissue damage from the neurotoxic venom.
“Probably stings many times as opposed to a honey bee that stings one time and their life is over.”
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So the question then becomes, if they’re in Washington state now, could they make it here and how soon? The New York Department of Environmental Conservation says this: “In its native range, this insect is not suited for temperatures commonly found in upstate New York.”
But should these Murder Hornets find their way here?
“There’s honeybees and beekeepers that are aware of how to contend with this hornet. As long as they share their solutions I think we’ll be fine.”
There have been recorded instances in Asia of honeybees being able to raise the temperature in their hive high enough to kill the hornet.