Claim: Asian giant hornets aka murder hornets that were spotted in the US are said to have originated from China.
Reportedly, these 2 inches long Vespa mandarinia aka murder hornets were first discovered in the US by a resident in Blaine, Washington, in December 2019. These murder hornets are assumed to have come from China through the shipping containers according to experts.
Another report mentions that these Asian giant hornets will soon spread to the east coast of the US and then it would be very tough to eradicate these hornets, which are infamous for killing beehives and even attack humans when threatened.
Image courtesy: Twitter
Image courtesy: Twitter
After an analysis of Google Trends with respect to "murder hornets in US" news, one can see that people have been hugely interested to know about the same. The maximum number of searches have been done on May 5, 2020, and the trend seems to be rising since May 2, 2020.
Image courtesy: Google Trends
Republic World did a fact check on Asian giant hornets in the US and whether they have originated from China, and the claims were found to be False.
According to animal diversity website, the Asian giant hornet is the world’s largest hornet. It is found in eastern and southeastern parts of Asia and is said to be most common in Japan. Plus, there is no confirmation that the hornets have come from China.
Murder hornets or Asian giant hornets are insects that attack beehives as their primary target; however, these hornets also attack people when they feel threatened. These hornets attack almost 30-40 people in Japan every year.
Image courtesy: Book titled "Extraordinary animals: an encyclopedia of curious and unusual animals" by Piper, Ross
Murder hornets is the colloquial term given to Asian giant hornets. According to a report, the giant hornets were spotted in British Columbia, Canada, in August 2019.
The main reason that people are terrified of murder hornets is due to the fact that they can destroy a beehive within hours and thereafter capture the hives and defend them as their own. They take the bee brood and feed it to their own young hornet broods.
This is why murder hornets could lead to a huge loss in the beekeeping as well as the agriculture industry as bees play an important role in pollination as well as produce honey.
The Washington state agriculture officials have set up a webpage so that people can make themselves aware of their occurrences on the webpage. Citizens are advised to not to mess with Asian giant hornets themselves and call the authorities immediately as the normal beekeeping attire won’t protect the individuals from a hornet's sting.
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