(HorizonPost.com) – Entomologists call them Vespa mandarinia while others call them Asian giant or “murder” hornets. The insects didn’t earn their name because they swarm together and attack human beings, decimating entire cities as they move methodically across the country… on reflection, perhaps watching that horror movie as research was a bad idea.
In any case, the first live specimens of 2021 appeared in Whatcom County in northern Washington State on Wednesday, August 11. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) announced the first sighting in a news release. After that, they set traps in the area and captured live specimens — one each on Thursday and Friday. They affixed tracking devices to them and released them in the hopes of finding their nest.
1st Live Asian Giant 'Murder Hornet' Of 2021 Spotted In Washington State https://t.co/AYrTpSlLyB
— NPR Science Desk (@nprscience) August 13, 2021
Because of the proximity to the Canadian border, WSDA agents will be coordinating with teams from our northern neighbor. For some reason, these bugs always seem to bypass the border checkpoints.
The first hornets of this year exhibited the same behavior as those from 2020: attacking a paper wasp nest. A swift response was necessary, as they’ll also attack honeybee hives. Reportedly, just a few of them working together can destroy an entire colony in a few hours.
Although there have been reports from Japan and China about the hornets causing human deaths, those seem related to when they feel threatened or in people who have allergies. The real problem is that it could be a disaster for area farmers because bee pollinators are vital to crop production. Hopefully, the tracking devices will lead authorities to the nest and help extinguish them before they cause any real harm.
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