THE ASIAN Giant Hornet, better known across the internet as the “murder hornet,” has reappeared.
The hornets can be the size of a human thumb.[/caption]
The Washington State Department of Agriculture said that a photo taken last week showed a dead hornet believed to be the Asian Giant Hornet, according to The New York Times.
Meanwhile, a Canadian apiculturist – someone who keeps bees for their honey – confirmed the sighting of a “murder hornet” in the British Columbia city of Langley earlier this month.
It was discovered only eight miles from a site where two more of the hornets were found last year.
The recent discovery in British Columbia shows the hornets are difficult to contain.[/caption]
Field workers have been attempting to confine the hornets to the Pacific Northwest, but this latest specimen in British Columbia reveals that their territory is continuing to grow.
The hornets took the internet by storm when they were discovered in Washington state in early May.
They can be the size of a human thumb and fly up to 20 mph.
They have an excruciating sting, which is powerful enough that to kills an estimated 50 people each year in the hornets’ native Japan.
No one know yet how the hornets arrived in North America.[/caption]
Their venom contains a neurotoxin that can cause both cardiac arrest and anaphylactic shock.
They pose a grave threat to Americans not, however, because of the sting, but because they are prone to killing and ripping the heads of bees, which are vital to our ecosystem and economy and which have no natural defenses against the hornets.
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Scientists are still not certain how they arrived in North America in the first place.
“Just like that, it’s forever different,” said Washington State University Extension entomologist and invasive species specialist Todd Murray in a WSU statement last month.
“We need to teach people how to recognize and identify this hornet while populations are small, so that we can eradicate it while we still have a chance.”