About a week ago, ‘Murder Hornets’ became the latest scare in the perpetual drip of media fear porn. Somebody set up a death match between one of those giant wasps and another feisty insect.
In case you missed it, here’s the hype we were being given about these insects.
They are a potentially invasive species that has taken up residence in a couple of known locations on the Left Coast, in Washington State, and their Canadian counterparts.
The deadly meat-eating Asian giant hornet, which has been known to kill up to 50 people a year in Japan, recently surfaced for the first time in the US in Washington state — and New York City beekeepers say there is no way it won’t make its way here, too.
“I told the NYPD back in 2012 … ‘Your problem is not the bees. This [the murder hornet] is your problem,’” recalled retired Police Department beekeeper Anthony “Tony Bees” Planakis.
“I showed them a picture of it, and they go, ‘What the hell is that?’ ” Planakis said. “I go, ‘That is an Asian hornet. My [beekeeper’s] suit is useless against that thing.’ ”
Asked if the monstrous insects are dangerous to humans, Planakis added, “Absolutely. Oh, my God.”
“Have you seen the mandibles on these things?”
The hornets, the world’s largest at more than 2 inches long, were first spotted in Washington in December, likely having made their way to the US aboard a ship from China, experts said. —NYPost
The colorful nickname ‘Murder Hornet’ lit up social media. They can rip the heads off of, and devour, honeybees by the thousands.
Let’s see if they’re really as tough as they say. How well does one handle itself in a prize fight?
Introducing the praying mantis, which has been known to catch and eat hummingbirds. How would he fare against this fearsome threat?
Watch for yourself.
[Update: The video originally uploaded is no longer working. It has been replaced with this video featuring audio from an infamous sports moment. And to whoever paired that audio with this clip, we can only say: Wow. Well played.]
How big a threat are they, really?
“This is 99% media hype and frankly I’m getting tired of it,” University of Delaware entomologist Doug Tallamy said, according to the Associated Press. “Murder hornet? Please.”
Washington Agriculture Department entomologist Chris Looney shared the same sentiment about the frightening nickname.
“They are not ‘murder hornets.’ They are just hornets,” Looney said. “The number of people who are stung and have to seek medical attention is incredibly small.”
“It’s ridiculous to call them murder hornets. It’s no more likely to sting and kill a human than a honey bee. Actually it’s less likely, as honey bee venom packs quite a punch and it is exclusively designed to defend against vertebrates,” wasp expert, researcher professor of entomology and, director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, Lynn Kimsey, said in a blog from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. “There is no evidence that there are any more hornets in the vicinity of Vancouver or anywhere else on the West Coast.” — IBTimes