Part II: Tracking the ‘Murder Hornet’ – a deadly insect pest has reached North America

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The insect was dead, and after inspecting it, Mr. Kornelis had a hunch that it might be an Asian giant hornet. It did not make much sense, given his location in the world, but he had seen an episode of the YouTube personality Coyote Peterson getting a brutal sting from one of the hornets. Beyond its size, the hornet has a distinctive look, with a cartoonishly fierce face featuring teardrop eyes like Spider-Man, orange and black stripes that extend down its body like a tiger, and broad, wispy wings like a small dragonfly. Mr. Kornelis contacted the state, which came out to confirm that it was indeed an Asian giant hornet. Soon after, they learned that a local beekeeper in the area had also found one of the hornets.

Mr. Looney said it was immediately clear that the state faced a serious problem, but with only two insects in hand and winter coming on, it was nearly impossible to determine how much the hornet had already made itself at home. Over the winter, state agriculture biologists and local beekeepers got to work, preparing for the coming season. Ruthie Danielsen, a beekeeper who has helped organize her peers to combat the hornet, unfurled a map across the hood of her vehicle, noting the places across Whatcom County where beekeepers have placed traps.

Asian Giant Hornets – in China – Filed October 3, 2013

“Most people are scared to get stung by them,” Ms. Danielsen said. “We’re scared that they are going to totally destroy our hives.” Adding to the uncertainty — and mystery — were some other discoveries of the Asian giant hornet across the border in Canada. In November, a single hornet was seen in White Rock, British Columbia, perhaps 10 miles away from the discoveries in Washington State — likely too far for the hornets to be part of the same colony. Even earlier, there had been a hive discovered on Vancouver Island, across a strait that probably was too wide for a hornet to have crossed from the mainland.

“It was like having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into my flesh,” he said. He ended up getting stung at least seven times, some of the stings drawing blood. Jun-ichi Takahashi, a researcher at Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan, said the species had earned the “murder hornet” nickname there because its aggressive group attacks can expose victims to doses of toxic venom equivalent to that of a venomous snake; a series of stings can be fatal. The night he got stung, Mr. Bérubé still managed to eliminate the nest and collect samples, but the next day, his legs were aching, as if he had the flu. Of the thousands of times he has been stung in his lifetime of work, he said, the Asian giant hornet stings were the most painful.  –DNYUZ

Nature Out of Balance TEP

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3 Responses to Part II: Tracking the ‘Murder Hornet’ – a deadly insect pest has reached North America

  1. Frank says:

    Part two, click on the picture of the first post I sent for a video

    Like

  2. Judy Clarke says:

    I would try and capturre one dead or alive and do a dissection to see what the stinger is made up of, to enable it to sting through a bee suit. Is it man made. This is in the bible.

    Like

  3. niebo says:

    I dunno what to think of this story – when I was a kid, we had three kinds on hornets in the are where I grew up (rural north-central Tennessee): the bald-faced hornet (black with a white stripe down its face), yellow-jackets – technically they are hornets because they do not lose their stingers when they sting, and Japanese hornets. Have never been stung by a bald-face, but the only time I ever saw my Father cry in physical pain was after he got stung by one (under the fingernail) whiile we were cutting firewood. On a late-summer day when I was about ten, I was clearing leaves from my bike trail and raked my foot across a yellow-jackets’ nest . . . got stung thirty times. My neighbor was with me, and he was surprised that I did not have more of a reaction, but he wasn’t there that night when I had a fever of 102 and threw up for hours. And the Japanese hornets were HUGE; I would sit near the tree where their nest was a shoot them with my pellet gun.

    More often than not, they survived the initial shot. They would fall to the ground, where I would step on the to kill them. Through my shoes, I could feel their exoskeletons crunch under my foot.. Gruesome, I know, but . . . growing up on a farm, I learned not to bond with animals; opossums, raccoons, snakes, wasps. and hornets will kill chickens, and I buried a lot of chickens over the years. And ducks. And opossums. Snakes. Wild dogs (which were a problem at the time) . . . you get my point. Never caught a raccoon in the act, but saw them, in dawn’s light, shuffling into the mist. Couldn’t bring myself to shoot one, since, after all, it was their land, first. Fifteen years later, I would have never killed ANY beast – wasp, hornet, spider, fly, etc. – just because I could (to this day the same is true). . . and, odd factoid, I discovered, with the advent of the internet (in my mid-twenties), that my family name is Polish for “hornet”.. .

    Go figure (and that might explain some things, now that I think about it). . .

    Anyway, my point is . . . I watched the videos and, well, I used to shoot hornets that were very similar, scary big, thirty plus years ago. And, again, more often than not, they survived the shot. Never got stung by one, but if I ever do . . . it’s my own damned fault.

    Liked by 1 person

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