It seems that two-inch-long Asian hornets have taken control of the US, meaning that they could destroy the honey bee population that’s already declining. These hornets are also known as murder hornets, and they kill about 50 people a year. When encountering bee colonies, they might kill all the adults before feeding on the young ones – and that in just a matter of hours.
They were first seen in November 2019, and experts stated that colonies of giant hornets had been found and exterminated.
Chris Looney is an entomologist Washington State’s Department of Agriculture he stated that all the colonies need to be killed in the next two years, or they could lose the control. He said: “This is our window to keep it from establishing. If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done. Don’t try to take them out yourself if you see them. If you get into them, run away, then call us! It is essential for us to know of every sighting if we’re going to have any hope of eradication.”
It’s not entirely clear how Asian hornets found their way into the US, but they spread so much that they are even found in some parts of Canada.
Conrad Bérubé, the beekeeper, was sent to destroy a hive. He stated that the encounter left him bleeding – “was like having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into my flesh.”
They have also gotten to the UK, and, according to some reports, they can cause damage of £7.6million and destroy the bee population that’s already in danger.
The only way to control the Asian hornets is to destroy their nests and place traps.
To eradicate the Asian hornets would mean paying about 11.9 million euros (that’s £10.5million) for France, 9 million euros (that’s £8million) for Italy and 8.6 million euros (that’s £7.6million) for the UK.