An unusual scene was witnessed near Blaine, Washington. Two unknown hornets with long stings and orange and black spots were spotted there in the end of 2019.
After investigation, researchers found the identity of the strange insects. The invaders are called Asian giant hornets, the largest insects of this type in the world. How they ended up in the United States is unknown. These creatures grow in length approximately two inches.
These wasps have social behavior. For this reason, they usually form colonies with a queen and many workers. When they are together, they can fly many miles to find food. Known for decimating bee colonies, these predatory animals are native to countries like Japan, as well as others in East Asia. It’s most likely they got accidentally trapped in shipping containers from one of the countries where they’re native.
In their native habitats, these insects are already feared for attacking and even killing several people with the toxic poison they release. Between 30 and 50 victims die in Japan each year as a result of the bites. These insects have already killed more than 40 people in a Chinese province. The situation is more serious when people get too close or try to interfere with the hornet’s hives.
Know more about the Asian giant Hornets!
Bees are the favorite victims of these insects. To attack them, hornets start with several bites. After about an hour and a half, a few Asian giant hornets can completely destroy a bee colony. Then, predators stay in the victims’ nest for 7 days or more. Meanwhile, they feed on pupae and larvae that were in the nest.
Bees try to sting invaders, but hornets are so strong that they are unaffected. Therefore, the bees end up unable to defend themselves against the Asian giant hornets. The stings of those insects are scary. With a quarter of an inch in length, these stingers can attack even beekeepers, piercing the protective clothing these professionals wear. According to research, hornets can kill even people who are not allergic to stings.
To find the queens and workers, scientists will set many traps in the summer season. If new colonies are created at that time, the hornets will appear. With this, researchers can attach collars that transmit radio frequency. That way, they can track the hornets near the nests and destroy them. The biggest concern of scientists is that these hornets will be able to go all over Washington and other states. This would be a major threat to bees in the country, which are already threatened. And, of course, it would a treat for humans. Asian giant hornets need to be stopped quickly from breeding. Otherwise, these dangerous insects might spread across the country.