Does the murder hornet abide by its name? Is it deadly? This new insect entered the United States in December of 2019. It is also known by its native name, the Asian giant hornet. These hornets are the largest in the world. However, they are not as deadly as their name may imply.
The Asian giant hornet is native to East Asia. However, the hornet has mysteriously managed to emerge in several areas in the United States. Scientists think they may have traveled to the US from shipping containers from Asia. These hornets can grow as large as three to four inches long. Murder hornets get their name from their aggressive hunting of honeybees. These hornets can devour an entire honeybee colony in as little as 90 minutes. Many Americans are scared that these hornets may populate and disrupt the ecosystem. This has the potential to become a huge problem; however, scientists contend that this possibility is slim.
Since their discovery, researchers have worried about their possible fatal effects, not for humans, but bees. Honeybees in America do not know how to defend themselves against the hornet, which creates a reason for alarm. On the other hand, Asian honeybees swarm the hornet, flapping their wings to overheat it, and subsequently killing the hornet.
While these hornets may cause a deadly sting to a small percentage of Americans, their overall danger to humans is very low. But, researchers must be able to trap these insects quickly and control their populations as they may cause ecological harm to the honeybee population. The problem that the United States is facing could end up being dangerous but on the other hand, it is overhyped and “unnecessary sensationalized” by the media and could end up having little to no effect at all.
[Source: National Geographic]