Invasive Species Known as “Murder Hornets”

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Cissy Lu, Staff Reporter

Recently, an invasive species of hornets, known as the ‘murder hornets’, were sighted in Washington state earlier this year. These hornets originated in Japan and were suspected to be introduced to the U.S by imports and exports. They can grow up to two inches long and posses the same amount of venom like a snake. The aggressive Asian hornets cause an estimated 50 deaths in Japan yearly and are notoriously known for their excruciating stings. 

The invasive species has killed off dozens of bee colonies in Washington, reported by bee farmers. Once a hornet finds a bee colony, it releases a pheromone, attracting more hornets to attack the colony. Within hours, the entire colony collapses. Hundreds of dead decapitated bees are found in the aftermath. 

Bee farmers are afraid of these aggressive creatures since they can sting through bee suits. A few stings from these hornets can be fatal and require hospitalization. An infestation of these hornets will cause bee populations to decline and disrupt agriculture and ecosystems. Traps have been placed to eradicate the hornets and prevent them from spreading. 

Japanese honeybees were able to adapt to these aggressive creatures, by working together and evolving with each generation. European honeybees in the U.S have not been able to evolve so quickly, leaving many colonies dead.