Asian giant hornets have been spotted in the United States for the first time.
Dubbed as the “murder hornet” because of its venomous sting that can kill a person when stung several times, they are also strong enough to puncture a beekeeper’s suit!
“They’re like something out of a monster cartoon, with this huge yellow-orange face,” Susan Cobey, a bee breeder at the Washington State University (WSU) Department of Entomology, said.
Murder hornets target hives of honeybees, reported the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). Because of this, beekeepers have seen piles of dead bees with their head ripped off – an alarming sight considering the rapid decline of bee population in the country.
WSU scientists suspect the hornets may have been transported in international cargo that ended up in the US.
WSDA scientists have since embarked on a full-scale hunt for the Asian hornets, while state officials have set up traps and launched an app to immediately report sightings.
“This is our window to keep it from establishing. If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done,” Chris Looney, an entomologist at WSDA, said.
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