2020 has been a pretty rough year.
COVID-19 pandemic. Kobe Bryant’s death. Australian wildfires. Non-stop political arguments on Facebook and Twitter.
On top of that, we were recently introduced to the “murder hornet,” a giant motherfucking death machine that appeared in the United States for the first time. These things apparently are the world’s largest wasps, equipped with massive stingers, growing to nearly two inches in size, and targeting honey bees as their main food source.
Good thing is that these bastards are likely staying in the Pacific Northwest, according to experts at Rutgers:
“The species has not yet been detected this spring and we do not expect them on the East Coast,” said Dina M. Fonseca, director of the Center for Vector Biology and professor in the Department Entomology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers–New Brunswick. “We do not know how the species arrived in the United States but it is important to not overreact.”
Washington State University’s information on the Asian giant hornet confirmed the first U.S. sighting of this hornet in the wild. The first two specimens were found in Nanaimo and White Rock, British Columbia, Canada, in fall 2019.
The hornets were reported to be attacking colonies of honeybees in Washington State. The Asian Giant Hornet is known to aggressively attack honeybees and can destroy entire honeybee colonies. Washington State University recently published an extensive fact sheet with identification and guidance for the public. According to the WSU Pest Alert, Asian giant hornets are not generally aggressive towards people, but may sting when threatened.
“The Asian giant hornet is unlikely to be present in New Jersey,” Fonseca said. “While citizens in the Pacific Northwest can help detect any emerging hornets this spring, which is critical for its control, the indiscriminate killing of bees, wasps or other hornet lookalikes, would be detrimental because of beneficial roles these insects provide as plant pollinators and predators of agricultural pests.”
You heard ’em. Don’t go around killing bees just because you think they’re murder hornets.
If, however, this scourge makes it to the Delaware Valley, we will have no choice, but to respond with this: