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They decapitate honey bees, 'Murder Hornet' spotted in U.S. Pacific Northwest raises concerns

Asian giant hornets, a carnivorous insect nicknamed "Murder Hornet" has invaded Washington State in swarms that threatens humans and the beekeeping industry, agriculture officials said. 

The Asian Vespa mandarinia is the world's largest species of hornet, length up to 2-1/2 inches (6.35 cm) long and native to southeast Asia, China and Taiwan. In December 2019, the Washington state department of agriculture received reports of the first Asian giant hornet sightings, and as early as fall 2019, they were found in two locations in British Columbia, Canada.

The Asian giant hornets attack and destroy bee hives. It takes just a few wasps to destroy a beehive in a few hours. When the attacking wasps enter a "killing phase," they start beheading the bees; They then use the beehives as their own nest and feed their own larvae on bee larvae. They also attack other insects, but the extent to which they damage entire insect populations is unknown.

Although they generally do not actively attack humans or livestock, they do if they feel threatened.  Asian giant hornets can sting several times and release large doses of venom that causes local necrosis around the wound.

In addition to threats to humans, these Murder Hornets pose a threat to agriculture and beekeeping industries. Because bee pollination is an important part of the agricultural system. So if it starts to spread, it could be a disaster.

While it is not certain how these hornet got to the American continent, scientists suspect that it most likely came from a cargo ship docked at a port in Washington. Deliberately transporting the deadly insects to the United States is a violation of federal law.

Hundreds of Asian Giant Hornets sighting reports have been received since state agriculture officials set up a report page.

Agriculture official warms of the danger to try to destroy the Asian Giant Hornets' nests.  Because these hornets can sting through the regular bee suit, since their sting is 6 millimetres long and can easily pierce most clothing.

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