Saturday, August 15, 2020

Murder hornets vs. honeybees for World Honey Bee Day

Happy World Honey Bee Day! I telegraphed what I would do today on World Bee Day.
I will do this all over again for World Honey Bee Day in August with updates on threats facing bees, such as "murder hornets," in between. Stay tuned.
I have been so busy with the Emmy Awards, elections, and COVID-19 pandemic that I haven't been updated my readers about bees at all since then. To make up for it, I'm sharing a video that VICE News posted on World Bee Day, coincidentally enough, Watch A ‘Murder Hornet’ Destroy An Entire Honeybee Hive.

Right when we thought 2020 couldn’t get worse, ‘Murder Hornets’ made their big U.S. debut. But are murder hornets as ‘murderous’ as their nickname suggests?

Asian Giant Hornets are responsible for up to 50 deaths a year in Asia, especially in Japan, which has been dealing with the problem for thousands of years. But it takes multiple stings to kill a person. But the real victim and biggest concern is the already declining honeybee population. Murder hornets were first spotted in Washington State in December, and beekeepers there are terrified.

The Asian Giant Hornet is the biggest known hornet in the world. The hornet can grow up to 2 inches long with a curved stinger long enough to puncture a bee suit.
Late last month, CBS Sunday Morning uploaded Invasion! Asian giant hornets have arrived, which shows that Asian Giant Hornets are still here.

They can grow as large as 2½ inches and can slaughter a colony of thousands of honeybees in a matter of hours. And their sting? It's one of the most painful known to humankind. Vespa mandarinia, dubbed by The New York Times as "murder hornets," are the nation's latest invasive species, and correspondent Luke Burbank talks with entomologists and a beekeeper about the threats these insects pose and what's being done to keep them from establishing themselves in the U.S.
For the sake of the bees, I hope Chris Looney and the people who work with him at the Washington state Department of Agriculture succeed in preventing "murder hornets" from becoming established. Bees have enough problems.

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