Saturday, August 21, 2021

'Murder hornets' return for World Honey Bee Day

Happy World Honey Bee Day! As i did last year, I'm observing today by sharing the latest news about a potential major thread to honeybees, "murder hornets" or as the are more properly called, Asian Giant Hornets. I begin with Washington state reports first murder hornet sighting of 2021 from Good Morning America.

State officials released a photo of the dangerous insect attacking a wasp nest, asking residents to keep an eye out and report any sightings to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
As noted in the comments, it's oddly appropriate that Good Morning America reported this story on Friday the 13th. It certainly was an unlucky day for honeybees in the Pacific Northwest.

Help is on its way, as Reuters reported yesterday Washington researchers hunt down 'murder hornets'.

The first Asian giant hornet nest of the year has been found in Washington state, and plans are being developed to eradicate it, likely next week, the state's agriculture department said.
The report shows the team from the Washington state Department of Agriculture eradicating a nest of Giant Asian Hornets on Food Day last year, so they have experience. That's a good thing. As I wrote on World Honey Bee Day last year, "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."

Before I leave, I'm sharing this comment exchange I had in IF THE COVID DOOMSAYERS ARE RIGHT, EXPECT A LOT MORE INFECTIONS -- AND MAYBE A GOP WAVE ELECTIONat No More Mister Nice Blog.

Regular commenter Cleto Safari di Moderna posted a link to The Daily Beast's story about the return of "murder hornets" and asked "I wonder if the 'Killer Bees' would resist the 'Murder Hornets' more effectively than other honeybees?" I couldn't resist answering his question.
Take it from this zoologist, the answer is no. Africanized bees might put up a more aggressive defense of their colony than non-Africanized bees, but it won't be enough as their stings won't be any better at penetrating the Asian Giant Hornet's exoskeleton than any other honeybee. Japanese honeybees know better; they cook the hornets instead.
Watch Hornets from Hell by National Geographic to see that in action.

Japanese giant hornets pack a venomous sting so strong it can dissolve human tissue. But when a hornet scout enters a beehive, watch as the bees turn the tables on their enemy — and literally bake the predator to death!
As Cleto Safari di Moderna responded to my answer, "Mmm...hornet teriyaki..."


  1. I still have a soft spot when it comes to MURDER HORNETS.
    Did I say soft spot?

    1. HAHAHAHA. I think I saw one of those videos on Twitter. Now that you've linked to them, I have to watch all of them on YouTube. I don't know whether to thank you or curse you yet.

  2. Welcome, all of you coming to me from Infidel753's blog and thanks, Infidel! Please read my followup to this post, First 'murder hornet' nest of 2021 eliminated in Washington state.