Asian Murder Hornets On The Way To NYC

By Ben Hamill - May 05 2020
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Asian Murder Hornets On The Way To NYC

China is supposedly to blame for an enemy of a different kind now that a giant Asian “murder hornet” has made its way into U.S. airspace. And on the topic of whether the murderous flesh-eating hornets are really all that dangerous, ex-NYPD beekeeper Anthony “Tony Bees” Planakis has one simple world of warning to offer: very.

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The Asian murder hornet is bound to hit the U.S. East Coast sooner rather than later. This according to bee and hornet migration experts. The hornet has been known to kill as many as 50 people in Japan alone each year. It recently surfaced rather unexpectedly all the way over in Washington State in the U.S. And now that the murderous hornet has secured a free pass into Washington, New York beekeepers are convinced that it’s only a matter of time before the city witnesses its first wave of airborne insectile murderers.

China Yet Again In The Picture

As for the connection that the murder hornet has with China, the species is thought to have made its way into the U.S. via a ship that entered one of the country’s ports from China. According to Planakis, the expectation among experts is that the highly dangerous hornet will arrive on the U.S. East Coast in the next two to three years – if not much sooner.

New York’s green outer-city spaces offer the perfect home to the species, said Planakis. This makes the region to be absolutely ideal in terms of the hornet flourishing locally in future. And, Planakis quickly added, it doesn’t take any more than just a few hornets to begin an entirely new local colony.

First-Hand Knowledge

Planakis, having encountered the murder hornets first-hand on a 2017 trip to China, knows exactly what it is he’s issuing grave warnings about. He tells the story of how local Chinese beekeepers use small objects closely resembling cricket bats in an attempt to hit the hornets whilst in mid-air flight. The sound made by the “bats” connecting mid-air with the hornets sounded similar to an object hitting a solid rock, explained the experienced now-retired beekeeper.

What’s more, the murder hornets aren’t only a treat to human life, but also to America’s own bee colonies – colonies absolutely essential to the sustainability and longevity of local agriculture. What with the hornets feeding mostly on protein, the species is known for decapitating honey bees before consuming entire parts of their bodies for sustenance.

Masters Of The Sting

Certainly very scary too is the fact that a typical bee-keepers protective suit is no match to Asian’s murder hornet. Equipped with a stinger about a quarter of an inch long, the hornet is quite the stinger-contender when compared to the honeybee and its dwarfed-by-comparison one-sixteenth of an inch stinger.

Another huge problem is that the hornet, unlike the honeybee, doesn’t stop at one sting only. It has the capacity to sting a couple of times in quick succession. This is potentially deadly to anyone with even as much as a hint of an allergy to bees.

Invasive and potentially deadly, hornets are not unlike something out of a horror cartoon. And even worse, they’re probably here to stay.  

FAQs

Why are Asian murder hornets considered dangerous?

They are capable of killing humans and feed on honeybees.

Where are Asian murder hornets from?

Asia – specifically, mainland China.

How did murder hornets get to the U.S.?

Experts suspect that Asian killer hornets made their way into the U.S. by way of a cargo ship.

What do murder hornets look like?

They look like freakishly large monster-like bees.

Why are farmers weary of Asian murder hornets?

They kill bees and crops cannot survive without honeybees.

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