Destructive ‘murder hornet’ spotted attacking hive of wasps sparks concern

"Murder hornets" that send the fear of God through bee colonies have been spotted in parts of America attacking a hive of wasps.

The insect more widely known as Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) can wipe out entire hives of bees through executions and fatal injections of venom, reports Live Science.

A Whatcom County resident reportedly saw one of the fearsome beasts in Washington state on August 11, a mere 2 miles from the first ever sighting of the creature in the US back in December 2019.

Sven Spichiger an entomologist for the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) wrote: "This hornet is exhibiting the same behaviour we saw last year — attacking paper wasp nests."

"If you have paper wasp nests on your property and live in the area, keep an eye on them and report any Asian giant hornets you see. Note the direction they fly off to as well."

It takes only a handful of Asian hornets to massacre tens of thousands of bees in a hive which they will then defend as their own and use the bee larvae to feed their own offspring.

According to WSDA the venom from a murder hornet sting is enough to kill a human being.

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To combat the hornets the WSDA will set traps and trace back any that are caught back to their nest – the same technique was adopted pin 2020 resulting in a nest being discovered hidden in a tree.

To kill the hornets the nest was filled with foam and around 100 to 200 insects were sucked into a vacuum canister.

Carbon dioxide was then used for any remaining hornets in the nest.

The hornets are native to South and East Asia and are an alien species in the US that potentially could decimate honey bee populations.

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