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Giant Asian 'Murder Hornets' Spotted in US for First Time

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What one expert called “something out a monster cartoon” has now arrived in the United States.

The Asian giant hornet, which can decimate bee colonies and is responsible for 50 deaths a year in Japan, is now in Washington state, according to The New York Times.

“They’re like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face,” Susan Cobey, a bee breeder with Washington State University’s Department of Entomology, said in an article on WSU’s website.

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“It’s a shockingly large hornet,” Todd Murray, a WSU extension entomologist, said. “It’s a health hazard, and more importantly, a significant predator of honey bees.”

The Washington Department of Agriculture has said the insect was definitely present last year near Blaine, on the state’s coast across from the Canadian border. The agency also lists two reports from nearby Custer as probable.

Jun-ichi Takahashi, a researcher at Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan, said the bugs earned the nickname of “murder hornet” because group attacks can deliver a lethal dose of venom.

Washington Department of Agriculture entomologist Chris Looney, however, said the average person is not at high risk, according to USA Today.

The hornets are “probably not going to murder someone … don’t panic,” Looney said.

The insects’ arrival caused a buzz on Twitter.

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Because the Asian giant hornet has the potential to decimate Washington state’s bee population, officials are on the lookout for more sightings so they can wipe out the hornet before it can do damage.

“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Looney said, according to The Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”

“As a new species entering our state, this is the first drop in the bucket,” Murray said.

“Just like that, it’s forever different,” he said. “We need to teach people how to recognize and identify this hornet while populations are small, so that we can eradicate it while we still have a chance.”

Will we be able to stop this species from spreading?

Beekeepers have placed traps to capture any hornets.

“Most people are scared to get stung by them,” beekeeper Ruthie Danielsen told The Times. “We’re scared that they are going to totally destroy our hives.”

How the insects made it from Asia to Washington state is not known.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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