No, they’re not the result of an experiment gone wrong in a cheesy old sci-fi horror movie. They’re very real, very big, and they think about one thing: MURDER. Ok, that last part is unproven, but look at a picture of one and tell me it’s not thirsting for a kill. Go ahead, take a look, I’ll wait.
Murder Hornets in US
For the first time, the Asian giant hornet — more commonly known as Murder Hornets in the US — has been spotted on American soil. Multiple sightings have been reported in Washington state since last fall. And that’s not good. Why? Because the Asian giant hornet kills honeybees en masse, and it can lay down some pain on humans too.
The giant hornets have sharp mandibles that they use to decapitate bees. Once a bee is headless, the hornet takes the bee’s thorax and feeds it to the hornet’s young. The hornets can enter a beehive and completely wipe out an entire bee colony in a matter of hours.
Scientists are now racing against time to stop the giant hornet population from causing widespread damage.
“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” said Chris Looney, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, to The New York Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”
But it’s not just honeybees experts are worried about. It’s people, too.
An Asian giant hornet can grow up to 2 inches long, and while it won’t necessarily target a human being, it is capable of killing one. The hornet’s long stinger can puncture a beekeeping suit, and people have described the sting as unbelievably painful. Victims say it’s like having hot metal driven into their skin. And multiple stings can lead to death.
In Japan, the Asian giant hornet kills up to 50 people a year.
Watch the Horror
Below is a video from 2018 featuring Nathaniel “Coyote” Peterson on his YouTube channel Brave Wilderness. Peterson, 38, who also hosts Animal Planet’s Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild put the world’s largest hornet on his forearm and let himself get stung. See what happens.