First things first. As a beekeeper I feel obliged to explain the hype that’s caused by mine, and just about any other news which used term “murder hornets” since the past month. These “Murder hornets” from Asia trully are murderous, but their name was primarily drawn from their brutality towards Honeybees. As during the attack, murder these hornets actually decapitate Honeybees.
It is true that their venom can be lethal to humans. This though can occur only in case of severe allergic reaction. As a matter of fact, if person is too allergic, even 1 sting from honeybee can be lethal! Let it be noted that in Japan in 2017 and 2018 less than 13 people died per year on average. And Japan is home to Vespa mandarinia japonica, which stands for most brutal asian giant hornet!
Akito Y Kawahara, Associate Professor and Curator of Insects, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida shared his views. He explained that genetic test of the hornet found in Washington showed that its not from Canadian brood. This hornet is not related to the fertile Queen which appeared in Canada last year. Her nest was destroyed right away. He believes that even if their nests are discovered in 2020, they would not spread quickly. This opinion is due to the fact that their foraging range is 700m/2300ft in radius around their hive. Furthermore, Professor Akito explains that these hornets can not tolerate extreme cold and heat. Due to this, he claims that they will not spread to the extreme hot and extreme cold regions of North America. In conclusion, in his eyes, these hornets are not as dangerous as media portrays them.
“Murder hornets” from Asia vs Apis Mellifera
“Murder hornets” from Asia, as I explained in my previous article, are primarily danger to Western Honeybees. Simply, as they did not develop effective self defense mechanism for them. Western Honeybees, during the attack, of these hornets does not stand a chance not even if they outnumber them 1000:1. This though, is not case with the Asian honeybee to which they are native enemy. You can read more about defense measures of Asian Honeybee here.
There is something, which beekeepers can do. Even though, I did not have problem with these hornets, I am very optimistic that this trap will be effective for them too. Some of you, may still remember it. Concept is same, just adjust size of throat of the bottle to giant asian hornets.
Do NOT try to fight them! General advice to the people is to stay away from these hornets if you come across them. Instead, simply report the sighting to the authorities. Their stingers do not break off, which means that they can sting repetitively. They can sting through beekeeping suits too! Stay away from them if you are unsure about your allergies. Those who are not allergic are much safer. Pain and swelling from their sting subsides in few days. But still, avoiding their stings is better. You do not need that extra pain.
Asian giant hornets are roughly length of a thumb. Their heads are orange color. Their black abdomen is striped with orange color. Width of their wings is 3 inches.
Stay safe! Keep following us for more updates.