Insect experts say that no one should be afraid of the huge “killer hornet,” unless one is a bee or a beekeeper.
The giant Asian hornets that have grabbed headlines since they appeared in Washington state are not human killers, although this does happen rarely. But they decapitate entire beehives, and this crucial insect for pollination is already in danger.
Several entomologists told The Associated Press that the overreaction reminds them of the scare that caused African bees, nicknamed “killers,” when they began migrating north from South America. These aggressive bees that came to Texas and the Southwest did not justify their nickname of a horror movie. Although they do kill people on rare occasions.
This time it’s about demystifying the hornet with the homicidal nickname.
“They are not ‘murderous hornets.’ They are hornets, nothing more, ”said entomologist Chris Looney of the Washington Department of Agriculture, who is involved in the search for the big bugs.
The facts are, experts say, that two dead hornets appeared in Washington in December, a live nest was found and removed in Canada in September, and no living hornets have been seen this year.
Looney wants to send a message to the Americans: the hornet is not coming for you. “The number of stung people needing medical attention is incredibly low,” he said in an interview.
The hornet (Vespa mandarinia) is really big, it can measure two centimeters (two centimeters), and its toxin is abundant and strong.
“It is a painful sting for humans,” said specialist Keith Delaplane of the University of Georgia. “It is like the African bee. With a dozen (of bites) one is fine. With 100, not so much ”.