In recent news, we have heard about the concern of Asian giant hornets, best known as the murder hornet. Where does this little bug come from, and where does he gets this infamous name from?
This little bug can grow to a length of nearly 2 inches. If we stop and think about it is not that little when we are referring to an insect. The Asian giant hornet (Vespa Mandarinia) is the world’s largest hornet. It is native to Asia, and the insect has large biting mouthparts that enable it to decapitate its prey that the reason it obtains his notorious nickname “murder hornet”. With the toxic venom that their large stingers deliver, it kills an average of 30 to 50 people each year in his native habitat. However, in the central Chubu region, these insects are a pleasant snack and an invigorating ingredient in drinks.
Why is the Asian giant hornet a concern? Because it preys on honeybees, and a single hornet is capable of killing an entire hive, and with 90 minutes, a small group of hornets can destroy an entire colony’s workers. Then they occupy the honeybee nest for up to a week or longer, feeding on the pupae and larvae and feed it to their own young.
However, some believe we have nothing to worry about them. Floyd Shockley, the entomology collections manager at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History says, “More people die of honey bee stings in the U.S. than die annually, globally, from these hornets. About 60 to 80 people die from allergic reactions to honey bee stings in the U.S. Now that we know little about this hornet, do you think we have something to worry about? Nevertheless, one thing we can all agree on is that his sting can be deadly. That doesn’t mean we can’t admire their beauty from a distance!