'Murder Hornets' (Asian Giant Hornets)

sherbetbizarre

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In Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year. Now, for the first time, they have arrived in the United States.

...In his decades of beekeeping, Ted McFall had never seen anything like it. As he pulled his truck up to check on a group of hives near Custer, Wash., in November, he could spot from the window a mess of bee carcasses on the ground. As he looked closer, he saw a pile of dead members of the colony in front of a hive and more carnage inside — thousands and thousands of bees with their heads torn from their bodies and no sign of a culprit.
https://dnyuz.com/2020/05/02/tracking-the-murder-hornet-a-deadly-pest-has-reached-north-america/
 

EnolaGaia

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On a calmer note ...

This article from the Bug Squad blog provides an overview of the situation and some comments by a wasp / bee expert. It notes the potential risks of Asian Giant Hornets becoming established in North America, but points out there's little or no evidence that's happening (yet).
About Those Asian Giant Hornets...

The sensationalism. fear-mongering and general panic surrounding those Asian giant hornets, aka "murder hornets," detected last year in British Columbia and Washington state, are enough to curdle both the blood and the brain.
First there were the Afrianized honey bees, which sensationalists called "the killer bees."

Don't even mention "assassin flies" or "bullet ants" or "deathwatch beetles."

Now there are the Asian giant hornets (AGH), Vespa mandarinia, which sensationalists have dubbed "murder hornets."

"It's ridiculous to call them murder hornets,” says noted UC Davis wasp expert and researcher Lynn Kimsey, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology and professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.

“It's no more likely to sting and kill a human than a honey bee,” said Kimsey, a two-term past president of the International Society of Hymenopterists, an organization that studies bees, wasps, ants, and sawflies.

“Actually it's less likely, as honey bee venom packs quite a punch and it is exclusively designed to defend against vertebrates,” she said.

“The colony everyone is hyperventilating over was actually found on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, last September when it was destroyed and then a single, dead hornet was found in December in Blaine, Wash.,” Kimsey said. “There is no evidence that there are any more hornets in the vicinity of Vancouver or anywhere else on the West Coast.” ...
FULL STORY: https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/po...KI4yVIQKduhqYRBk-4yo4ra5kWWfy3TxupBzpfjLjsga4
 

Yithian

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I haven't read those articles, I'm afraid, but the most incredible part, for me, is the defence that local (Asian) bees have developed to counter attacks by 'The Murder Hornets' (great band...): they cook them!

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/honey-bees-cook-murder-hornets/
U.S. bees need to get on the blower to their Asian cousins for some vital pointers.

Somebody elsewhere was asking about the viability of importing bees so that the locals 'learn' the approach, but nobody seemed to know how such an interaction might work. It sounds naively possible, but there was no expert to comment.
 

maximus otter

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”...sensationalism, fear-mongering and general panic...”
Quite unlike the reaction of the media and TPTB to other, current, health health-related events, luckily.

maximus otter
 

Yithian

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Quite unlike the reaction of the media and TPTB to other, current, health health-related events, luckily.

maximus otter
The first digression was entertaining.

The second is dragging us off topic: there are six threads on which to discuss the current pandemic.
 

maximus otter

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Warning: Footage of giant insect inflicting lots of pain.

For some first-hand input as to the antisocial abilities of Vespa mandarinia, here is nutcase Coyote Peterson having himself stung by one deliberately (FF to about 10:30 for the meat & potatoes):


Rather him than me...

maximus otter
 
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Sharon Hill

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Warning: Footage of giant insect inflicting lots of pain.

Rather him than me...

maximus otter
I'm not squeamish but I will not watch that. Hornets are awful. I've never been stung by a bee but have been by wasps/hornets twice.

The current hype reminds me of the killer bees "panic" of the 1970s when we were all sure of the high probability of being stung to death. But, yeah, that is not the most critical thing to be worried about right now in the US. We're careening headlong into all sorts of utter catastrophes. I ain't worried too much about insects.

However, if certain religious people are getting more and more worried about End Times, I can't blame them. The signs really are rather obvious. :fhtagn:
 

Sharon Hill

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Spookdaddy

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...here is nutcase Coyote Peterson having himself stung by one deliberately...
Nuts it may be, but deliberate self toxifying (?) has a venerable history in toxin research. For a long time the supposed lethality of black widow spiders was apparently written off as folklore by the larger medical/scientific community (although individual practitioners on the ground were perfectly aware of the issue). As the venom appeared to affect different animals in different ways, the theory was that animal based experimentation would be useless in regards to studying how the venom affected humans, if at all. It took several slightly insane academics to deliberately get themselves dosed up, and one particular American in the inter war years - I think called Blair, from Arkansas or Alabama - to come up with scientific proof.

If it's any reassurance, one of the major problems that researchers had was in actually getting the spiders to bite them in the first place; Russian researchers couldn't get themselves bitten at all, and took this as proof that the whole issue was an old wives tale.

(A couple of years ago I re-read Gordon Grice's The Red Hourglass, for the umpteenth time - I'll check later, but the above is from my recall of his chapter on the black widow spider. If I recall correctly, the description of the course of Blair's symptoms covers around half a dozen pages!)
 

EnolaGaia

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... It took several slightly insane academics to deliberately get themselves dosed up, and one particular American in the inter war years - I think called Blair, from Arkansas or Alabama - to come up with scientific proof. ...
This is the one ...

Allan Walker Blair (1900–1948) was a professor at the University of Alabama's medical school who is best known for allowing himself to be bitten by a black widow spider in order to investigate the toxicity of its venom in humans. As a result of the experiment he was hospitalized for two days, but later made a full recovery. The test convinced skeptics of the time who thought that the black widow's venom might not be dangerous to humans.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Blair
 

IbisNibs

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Somebody elsewhere was asking about the viability of importing bees so that the locals 'learn' the approach, but nobody seemed to know how such an interaction might work.
Absolutely no need to import any bees. They can use their social media accounts to exchange accurate and useful information, just like everyone else does!
 

Yithian

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I have just watched a video on Reddit that has mentally scarred me.

If you are made of stronger stuff than me, go to Reddit and search for mantis vs a murder hornet.

I can't in good conscience post a link here as Reddit links auto-embed and auto-play for some people--and this is the stuff of nightmares.

It just goes on, and on and on.

Murder hornets are now not so high on my list of fears.
 

Vardoger

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I have just watched a video on Reddit that has mentally scarred me.

If you are made of stronger stuff than me, go to Reddit and search for mantis vs a murder hornet.

I can't in good conscience post a link here as Reddit links auto-embed and auto-play for some people--and this is the stuff of nightmares.

It just goes on, and on and on.

Murder hornets are now not so high on my list of fears.
The hornet looked a bit passive. It depends on the situation perhaps.
 

hunck

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I have just watched a video on Reddit that has mentally scarred me.

If you are made of stronger stuff than me, go to Reddit and search for mantis vs a murder hornet.

I can't in good conscience post a link here as Reddit links auto-embed and auto-play for some people--and this is the stuff of nightmares.

It just goes on, and on and on.

Murder hornets are now not so high on my list of fears.
I saw that - pretty grisly isn't it? All that's left in the end are a few hard indigestible bits - wings etc.

Good to know there's something that can do for the bastards. Time to start breeding mantises..
 

ramonmercado

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More about these fiends.

MAY 29, 2020 AT 8:07 PM

Two new specimens of Asian giant hornet have turned up in the Pacific Northwest, suggesting that the invasive species made it through the winter despite efforts last year to stamp out the menace to North America’s honeybees
.
A big, yellow-and-black insect found dead in a roadway near Custer, Wash., has been identified as the Asian giant hornet, or Vespa mandarinia, Sven Spichiger, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, announced May 29. It was “probably a queen,” he said, from a brood in a 2019 nest and now ready to found a colony of her own.

Canadian scientists have also confirmed their first giant hornet of 2020, a specimen spotted May 15 in Langley, British Columbia.
Dubbed the “murder hornet” to the annoyance of entomologists, the predator earns its nickname from its proclivity to nab a honeybee, bite off the bee’s head carried home to nourish young hornets. Raiding parties of several dozen Asian giant hornets can kill whole hives containing thousands of bees in a few hours.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/asian-giant-murder-hornet-sightings-washington-canada
 

escargot

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There was a report on R4's Today programme about the hornets. British beekeepers are on the alert to protect their hives.
 

hunck

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I heard that as well. It said the Asian 'murder' ones have reached northern France so probably only a matter of time til they get here. Of course we already have our own plucky British hornets but they don't seem to be quite so murderous.
 

Yithian

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Of course we already have our own plucky British hornets but they don't seem to be quite so murderous.
I feel sure that with their better breeding and an innate sense of fair play, our bestriped boys will ultimately prevail.

Never, in the field of insect combat...
 
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