Post a reply

Image
May 2, 2020 3:01 PM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/0...

Tracking the 'Murder Hornet': A Deadly Pest Has Reached North America

Sightings of the Asian giant hornet have prompted fears that the vicious insect could establish itself in the United States and devastate bee populations.

"This is our window to keep it from establishing," Chris Looney, a Washington State entomologist, said of the two-inch Asian giant hornet. He displayed a dead hornet on his jacket.
"This is our window to keep it from establishing," Chris Looney, a Washington State entomologist, said of the two-inch Asian giant hornet. He displayed a dead hornet on his jacket.Credit...Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

By Mike Baker

May 2, 2020
Updated 4:23 p.m. ET

BLAINE, Wash. — 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.

"I couldn't wrap my head around what could have done that," Mr. McFall said.

Only later did he come to suspect that the killer was what some researchers simply call the "murder hornet."

With queens that can grow to two inches long, Asian giant hornets can use mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to wipe out a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the bees and flying away with the thoraxes to feed their young. For larger targets, the hornet's potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin.

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

Mr. McFall still is not certain that Asian giant hornets were responsible for the plunder of his hive. But two of the predatory insects were discovered last fall in the northwest corner of Washington State, a few miles north of his property — the first sightings in the United States.

Scientists have since embarked on a full-scale hunt for the hornets, worried that the invaders could decimate bee populations in the United States and establish such a deep presence that all hope for eradication could be lost.

"This is our window to keep it from establishing," said Chris Looney, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture. "If we can't do it in the next couple of years, it probably can't be done."
ImageThe members of Ted McFall's beehive near Custer, Wash., had their heads torn from their bodies.
The members of Ted McFall's beehive near Custer, Wash., had their heads torn from their bodies. Credit...Ted McFall

On a cold morning in early December, two and a half miles to the north of Mr. McFall's property, Jeff Kornelis stepped on his front porch with his terrier-mix dog. He looked down to a jarring sight: "It was the biggest hornet I'd ever seen."

The insect was dead, and after inspecting it, Mr. Kornelis had a hunch that it might be an Asian giant hornet. It did not make much sense, given his location in the world, but he had seen an episode of the YouTube personality Coyote Peterson getting a brutal sting from one of the hornets.

Beyond its size, the hornet has a distinctive look, with a cartoonishly fierce face featuring teardrop eyes like Spider-Man, orange and black stripes that extend down its body like a tiger, and broad, wispy wings like a small dragonfly.

Mr. Kornelis contacted the state, which came out to confirm that it was indeed an Asian giant hornet. Soon after, they learned that a local beekeeper in the area had also found one of the hornets.

Dr. Looney said it was immediately clear that the state faced a serious problem, but with only two insects in hand and winter coming on, it was nearly impossible to determine how much the hornet had already made itself at home.

Over the winter, state agriculture biologists and local beekeepers got to work, preparing for the coming season. Ruthie Danielsen, a beekeeper who has helped organize her peers to combat the hornet, unfurled a map across the hood of her vehicle, noting the places across Whatcom County where beekeepers have placed traps.

"Most people are scared to get stung by them," Ms. Danielsen said. "We're scared that they are going to totally destroy our hives."
ImageRuthie Danielsen noted the places across Whatcom County where beekeepers have placed hornet traps.
Ruthie Danielsen noted the places across Whatcom County where beekeepers have placed hornet traps.Credit...Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Adding to the uncertainty — and mystery — were some other discoveries of the Asian giant hornet across the border in Canada.

In November, a single hornet was seen in White Rock, British Columbia, perhaps 10 miles away from the discoveries in Washington State — likely too far for the hornets to be part of the same colony. Even earlier, there had been a hive discovered on Vancouver Island, across a strait that probably was too wide for a hornet to have crossed from the mainland.

Crews were able to track down the hive on Vancouver Island. Conrad Bérubé, a beekeeper and entomologist in the town of Nanaimo, was assigned to exterminate it.

He set out at night, when the hornets would be in their nest. He put on shorts and thick sweatpants, then his bee suit. He donned Kevlar braces on his ankles and wrists.

But as he approached the hive, he said, the rustling of the brush and the shine of his flashlight awakened the colony. Before he had a chance to douse the nest with carbon dioxide, he felt the first searing stabs in his leg — through the bee suit and underlying sweatpants.

"It was like having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into my flesh," he said. He ended up getting stung at least seven times, some of the stings drawing blood.

Jun-ichi Takahashi, a researcher at Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan, said the species had earned the "murder hornet" nickname there because its aggressive group attacks can expose victims to doses of toxic venom equivalent to that of a venomous snake; a series of stings can be fatal.

The night he got stung, Mr. Bérubé still managed to eliminate the nest and collect samples, but the next day, his legs were aching, as if he had the flu. Of the thousands of times he has been stung in his lifetime of work, he said, the Asian giant hornet stings were the most painful.
ImageBeehives at Ms. Danielsen's home in Birch Bay.
Beehives at Ms. Danielsen's home in Birch Bay.Credit...Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
As Yogi Berra said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Image
May 2, 2020 5:14 PM CST
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Bookworm Charter ATP Member Region: California Hummingbirder Orchids Plant Identifier
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Just what we need, another Asian pest invasion. Grumbling
Image
May 3, 2020 6:06 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Heucheras Keeps Horses Hostas Houseplants Hummingbirder
Hydrangeas Keeper of Koi Lilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Pacific Northwest Ponds
crawgarden...after reading this article and seeing the pics of those giant Asian hornets, I hope that they can stop the spread of these huge and dangerous hornets.

Just a sting by a yellow jacket is bad enough. I can't imagine the agony of the experience of a sting from a giant hornet. I also hope that there is a possibility to find a predatory insect to help eliminate them in the egg stages. It's sad that these hornets are so destructive for our bees that already have so much against their survival.

I will certainly keep my eyes open for flying insects in my area.
Thank for bringing the article to our attention.
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Last edited by bumplbea May 3, 2020 8:08 PM Icon for preview
Image
May 23, 2020 2:28 PM CST
Name: Peggy
Temple, TX (Zone 8b)
Birds Bluebonnets Butterflies Hummingbirder Irises Lilies
Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Texas Deer
I got stung on the toe TWICE by the same yellow jacket while quarantining down at our Central TX getaway cabin. I was wearing sandals and working around a wooden chair where they had apparently built a nest up underneath the seat where I could not see it. Defending their eggs from the monster lady I suppose. Man did that hurt! my 3rd toe swelled up nearly double and then started itching unmercifully later that night when the stinging let up a bit. I react so strongly to any kind of insect bites. Always have. Bothered me for 3 days but it's better now.
My low-carb recipe website: https://buttoni.wordpress.com
Image
May 23, 2020 2:42 PM CST
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
Per the USDA, if you spot one of the giant Asian hornets, try to snap a picture, and note where it was seen and which direction it was flying. In fairness, our honeybees are not native either, so there's that. Seems I read that we do have a native bee that has largely been displaced by the honeybees, not sure though.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Image
May 24, 2020 10:41 AM CST
Name: Sherri
Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b)
Butterflies Birds Bee Lover Hummingbirder Critters Allowed Tropicals
Bromeliad Native Plants and Wildflowers Salvias Organic Gardener Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Tender Perennials
ctcarol said:Just what we need, another Asian pest invasion. Grumbling


I agree Crying
Image
Oct 24, 2020 6:20 AM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
1st 'Murder Hornet' Nest In U.S. Is Found In Washington State

https://www.npr.org/2020/10/23...
As Yogi Berra said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Image
Oct 24, 2020 11:01 AM CST
Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
Bookworm Charter ATP Member Region: California Hummingbirder Orchids Plant Identifier
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
One could only hope that will be a success, and the end of them, but....
Thanks for the update, Rj !
Image
Mar 14, 2022 12:33 PM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
Sounds like they may be able to develop a pheromone trap

https://www.cell.com/current-b...
As Yogi Berra said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Image
Mar 14, 2022 6:32 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Heucheras Keeps Horses Hostas Houseplants Hummingbirder
Hydrangeas Keeper of Koi Lilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Pacific Northwest Ponds
Rj …Thanks for the link..Good news..
maybe the traps will be the size of a tiny dog house, hanging from trees. Hilarious!
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Image
Mar 14, 2022 6:37 PM CST
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Forum moderator Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 1
Little "love" hotels
As Yogi Berra said, “It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.”
Image
Mar 15, 2022 10:22 AM CST
Name: Johannian
The Black Hills, SD (Zone 5a)
There is none truly good but God.
Cactus and Succulents Orchids Garden Research Contributor Sempervivums Vermiculture Garden Ideas: Level 1
Thanks for the info, Rj. I wouldn't want to have those hornets established here. They can stay out, and our bees can stay.
Honor thy father and thy mother, do unto your neighbor as you would have them do unto you. (Mat. 19:19)
Image
Mar 15, 2022 8:17 PM CST
PNW/SW WA State (Zone 8b)
Brugmansias Greenhouse Hybridizer Region: Pacific Northwest Pollen collector Tropicals
crawgarden, they have found nest for the past couple years. They think the queen wasn't in the first nest.

Hornet's are something not to mess with either. I stepped in a nest of them some years back and they stopped counting after 34 stings. The smart thing I did was take some Benadryl and took a cold shower to pull all the stingers out. Rushed to urgency clinic by my DH and they wanted to put me in the hospital. I had several shots of steroids and refused going to the hospital. I now carry an Epi pen and have been in the process of getting this past year of shot as one sting can kill me. With that stated just be careful of any hornet or bee. The Murder Hornets have been found in forests so far.
Image
Mar 15, 2022 8:53 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Heucheras Keeps Horses Hostas Houseplants Hummingbirder
Hydrangeas Keeper of Koi Lilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Pacific Northwest Ponds
karmahappytoes said: crawgarden, they have found nest for the past couple years. They think the queen wasn't in the first nest.

Hornet's are something not to mess with either. I stepped in a nest of them some years back and they stopped counting after 34 stings. The smart thing I did was take some Benadryl and took a cold shower to pull all the stingers out. Rushed to urgency clinic by my DH and they wanted to put me in the hospital. I had several shots of steroids and refused going to the hospital. I now carry an Epi pen and have been in the process of getting this past year of shot as one sting can kill me. With that stated just be careful of any hornet or bee. The Murder Hornets have been found in forests so far.


I carry a epi pen ( kinda spendy but worth it) for the same reasons. Except I ran over a yellow jacket nest on my tractor. They all came out swinging , wow 😯 I tried to out run them on a tractor.. nope… so I had to literally tear all my cloth off in the garage … they were relentless. First time I was ever stung and I looked like the pillsbury dough boy the next day.. I can't imagine what the sting would be like from a giant hornet .
Most giant hornets have been seen and captured in southwestern Washington and northwestern Oregon. They attack bee hives kill all the bees by beheading them and steel the bee hives for their young. Really creepy. The bees have found a way to fight back , they kill the giant hornets with heat.
https://youtu.be/UNroEwFxh6I
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Last edited by bumplbea Mar 15, 2022 9:01 PM Icon for preview
Image
Mar 18, 2022 12:26 AM CST
Name: Sue
Bexar County, South Texas
Bee Lover Butterflies Container Gardener Dragonflies Ferns Herbs
Moon Gardener Organic Gardener Region: Texas
@bumplbea that is a very interesting video! Thanks for sharing! Thank You!
On a Never Ending Quest: First to learn...then to teach.
Image
Mar 18, 2022 12:28 AM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Heucheras Keeps Horses Hostas Houseplants Hummingbirder
Hydrangeas Keeper of Koi Lilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Pacific Northwest Ponds
Hi Sue… Amazing how Mother Nature finds a way..
I’m so busy... “I don’t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.”
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.
Member Login:

( No account? Join now! )