NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – “Murder hornets” have arrived in North America, and scientists fear the deadly insects might be here to stay.
Asian giant hornets can grow up to 2 inches long, and they kill about 50 people every year in Japan, according to a report in the New York Times on Saturday.
The hornets were discovered in northwestern Washington state last fall, a few miles north of where a beekeeper found thousands of his bees decapitated.
The critters reportedly use their sharp mandibles to chop off the heads of bees so they can feed the thoraxes to their young.
Jun-ichi Takahashi, a researcher in Japan, told the Times that the “murder hornets” got their nickname because their group attacks can kill people. Multiple stings can leave a victim with an amount of toxic venom comparable to a snake bite.
Scientists fear the hornets could establish themselves and devastate bee populations in the United States, so they’ve launched a “full-scale hunt” to track and control them.
“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Washington state entomologist Chris Looney told the Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”
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