As if 2020 didn’t have enough disease and pestilence, now deadly Asian “murder hornets” have been found in the United States for the first time. And scientists are worried that the giant, invasive hornets could breed and decimate bee colonies in America.
Honey bees are essential for the cycle of life because their pollination keeps entire ecosystems healthy by helping plants grow and produce food.
The two-inch “murder hornets” were discovered in Custer, Washington, in November by beekeeper Ted McFall. McFall said he was alarmed after finding the carcasses of his bees with decapitated heads.
Japan attributes 50 deaths a year from deadly hornet attacks, so scientists in the United States are trying to track the cannibalistic predators before they kill off bee colonies and reproduce.
Researchers say the murder hornets typically do not go after humans, but when they do, they can be very dangerous. Why? Because these predatory hornets have long stingers that can puncture beekeeping suits.
Washington State University entomologist Todd Murray, an invasive species specialist, told WSU Insider: “It’s a shockingly large hornet. It’s a health hazard, and more importantly, a significant predator of honey bees.”
“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” said Washington state entomologist Chris Looney. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”
The Washington State Department of Agriculture verified four reports of “murder hornet” sightings in December. They were also spotted in two locations in British Columbia last fall.
Scientists say murder hornets typically prey on honey bee colonies in late summer to early fall. While they don’t target humans, their sting is extremely painful and packed with neurotoxins. Multiple stings can kill you.
Twitter users — who are already jaded, defeated and angered by the coronavirus pandemic — said it’s time to cancel 2020.
Conservative analyst Dana Loesch tweeted: “Because 2020 hasn’t been awful enough, here’s the “murder hornet.”
Because 2020 hasn’t been awful enough, here’s the “murder hornet” https://t.co/ayNkfwwN9F
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) May 2, 2020
Another quipped: “I feel like God is using an end-of-the-world problem generator and just got ‘murder hornets.'”
I feel like god is using an end-of-the-world problem generator and just got “murder hornets”
— C.H.U.D.ney Spears (@chudneyspears) May 3, 2020
One frustrated Twitter user wrote that 2020 has been a parade of calamities:
- We barely avoided World War 3
- Kobe is gone
- COVID-19 spreading like wildfire
- The election is looking to be a dumpster fire.
2020 so far:
-We barely avoided World War 3
-Kobe is gone
-COVID-19 spreading like wildfire
-The election is looking to be a dumpster fire
-Fucking murder hornets pic.twitter.com/OxSkNzkIVW
— Ben Posting His Ls Online (April 9 🎉) (@Benimated) May 2, 2020
One guy said he’s had enough.
“So this the murder hornet that arrived in the US. They say just one hornet can kill 40 honey bees in one minute. Oh and their venom is deadly to us humans. Just cancel 2020.”
So this the murder hornet that arrived in the US. They say just one hornet can kill 40 honey bees in one minute. Oh and their venom is deadly to us humans. Just cancel 2020… pic.twitter.com/2dmtWWoJ7O
— John C. Varner III (@LilHulkQ) May 2, 2020
This horrifying photo needs no caption.
Vote Murder Hornets 2020 pic.twitter.com/fbp8FbLdSM
— Tzalal (@zl__al) May 2, 2020
One man joked: “You: 2020 couldn’t get worse. Murder Hornet: Hold my venom.”
You: 2020 couldn't get worse
Murder Hornet: Hold my venom pic.twitter.com/2kTkUek5MC
— ꧁.and he joked again.💥 (@AndyJokedAgain) May 2, 2020
A Twitter user wondered how much more bad news can come over the next few months.
“COVID-19 lockdown in Feb. to now. Murder hornets in May. What next? A Megalodon sighting in June? Maybe a necromancer raises the dead in early September? Or how’s about some dumb scientist discovers the lost city of R’lyeh and unleashes Cthulu (sic) in time for Christmas?”
CoVid-19 lockdown in Feb-now, Murder hornets in May, what next? A Megalodon sighting in June? Maybe a necromancer raises the dead in early September? Or how's about some dumb scientist discovers the lost city of R'lyeh and unleashes Cthulu in time for Christmas?
— leianart (@miniautomatiste) May 3, 2020
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