'Murder Hornets' (Asian Giant Hornets)

ramonmercado

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Confirmed in Washington.

The world's largest species of hornet invaded Washington state in December.

Now, seven months later, state officials have finally managed to catch one of the "murder hornets" — but they have less than two months to catch the rest before mating season begins and the species has a chance to grow.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture announced on Friday that it captured its first Asian giant hornet on July 14 in a bottle trap near Birch Bay in Whatcom County. A lab confirmed the hornet as part of the invasive species on July 29.

This was the first time the state found a murder hornet in a trap, rather than in the environment, a WSDA press release said. There have been five prior confirmed sightings of the hornet in the state. Sven Spichiger, managing entomologist for the state department, said the finding is "encouraging" because they now know the traps work.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/murder...than-two-months-to-find-and-destroy-the-rest/
 

EnolaGaia

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This 2013 Chinese news article describes the problem these hornets caused in Shaanxi province ...
Death toll from terrifying giant hornets rises to 41, over 1,600 injured

giant-hornets.jpg

The death toll from a plague of giant, highly-aggressive hornets sweeping through Shaanxi province has risen to 41, with over 1,600 people injured, Shanghai Daily reports.

As you can see in the photo above, these hornets/wasps are big. Asian giant hornets (vespa mandarinia) are on average 5.5 cm (2.2 inches) long, or about the width of an iPhone 3G.

Though hornet attacks are a fact of life in Shaanxi, this year the insects have been especially prevalent, scientists suggest the greater numbers may be caused by increasing temperatures brought on by climate change.

The hornets, which can reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour (25 mph), are also extremely aggressive. One man described being chased for 200 metres and stung repeatedly for over three minutes.

"The more you run, the more they want to chase you," said another victim, whose kidneys were ravaged by the venom. When he was admitted to the hospital, his urine was the color of soy sauce, according to local reports.

Authorities in Shaanxi have established a team of medical experts to offer support to victims. Firefighters have also been equipped with pesticides and protective clothing to tackle the insects.
SALVAGED FROM THE WAYBACK MACHINE:
http://shanghaiist.com/2013/10/03/d...ng_giant_hornets_rises_to_41_1600_injured.php
 

ramonmercado

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Tag, Trace, Terminate.

The race is on to keep Asian giant hornets from spreading in the Pacific Northwest.

Fifteen hornets — including 11 dead ones — have turned up in Washington state since 2019, as well as others in British Columbia, Canada. “We’re pretty sure there’s at least one nest” somewhere near Birch Bay along the Washington coast, says Karla Salp, a spokesperson for the Washington State Department of Agriculture in Olympia.

Efforts are under way to attach a radio tag to a live hornet and track it back to a nest. In an Oct. 2 news conference, department officials described catching their first live giant hornet just east of Birch Bay. The team glued a tiny transmitter to its abdomen. “Unfortunately the glue did not dry fast enough,” entomologist Sven Spichiger said. The tag fell off and glue got on the hornet’s wings, ruining its ability to fly.

The department is using live traps and “sentinel hives” — honeybee hives with a grate that allows bees to pass through but stops the larger hornets — to attract more hornets. The goal is to find and destroy any nests, ...

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/asian-giant-murder-hornets-new-map-habitat-united-states
 

ramonmercado

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Nuke the nest from orbit!

Scientists have discovered the first nest of so-called murder hornets in the United States and plan to wipe it out on Saturday to protect native honeybees, officials in Washington state said.

After weeks of searching, the agency said it found the nest of Asian giant hornets in Blaine, a city north of Seattle near the Canadian border. Bad weather delayed plans to destroy the nest on Friday.

The world’s largest hornet at two inches long, the invasive insects can decimate entire hives of honeybees and deliver painful stings to people.

Farmers in the northwestern US depend on those honeybees to pollinate many crops, including raspberries and blueberries. ...

https://www.irishexaminer.com/world/arid-40070285.html
 

Ogdred Weary

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Googled Murder Hornet vs Mantis, there are many vids, in at least one the Mantis comes out on top, this arrestingly titled vid also came up:


I must say the Mantis/Spider confrontation did not go the way I expected. It was a curious experience attempting ascertain what was going through whatever mind the Mantis has.
 

Xanatic*

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Unless the locals we're warned, I'd imagine we might see a few Roswell-style reports coming out of this.
 

ramonmercado

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Nest included 200 queens!

When scientists in Washington state destroyed the first nest of so-called murder hornets found in the US, they discovered about 500 live specimens in various stages of development, officials said Tuesday.

Among them were nearly 200 queens that had the potential to start their own nests, said Sven-Erik Spichiger, an entomologist leading the fight to kill the hornets.

“We got there just in the nick of time,” he said.

Still, that didn’t end the threat from the giant insects that can deliver painful, though rarely deadly, stings to people and wipe out entire hives of honeybees.

Scientists think other nests already exist and say it’s impossible to know if any queens escaped before the first nest was destroyed. ...

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/10/murder-hornet-nest-queens-washington
 
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Peripart

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I've just sought out this thread to reassure myself that I didn't spot a "murder hornet" today.

For the record, this is the bastard I saw on my car's windscreen earlier:
IMG_20201122_125824.jpg


Much larger than a typical British wasp (I reckon a good 35-40mm), and its back end was pulsating in a rather unpleasant way. My first thought was "hornet", but now I've calmed down a bit (and honestly, regular-sized wasps on their own don't scare me), I think it's a queen wasp of the common-or-garden variety. And anyway, it seemed pretty lethargic in the the cool of the day.

So what do you all think? Big wasp, or winged death?
 
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