Imagine this: You’re dealing with a worldwide pandemic, and then you’re told that a monster, twice its normal size, capable of inflicting excruciating pain, is invading colonies in the US and ripping the heads off all the inhabitants. Sounds like the stuff of science fiction, doesn’t it? Oh, but it’s happening. As if we don’t have enough on our plates.
The first few days I heard about Murder Hornets, I must admit that I thought this was some crazy conspiracy theory or something. These things just seemed too horrible to be real. The queens can be up to two inches long. They’re more formally known as Asian Giant Hornets. They attack bee hives, decimating the entire colony in no time flat, bringing body parts back to feed their babies. Shudder.
And if you get stung by one, according to this article from the New York Times, it feels like hot metal driving into your skin. And multiple bites can deliver the venom equivalent of a snake bite. These mosters have killed 50 Asians a year. Their stingers can pierce thick layers of clothing.
They’re starting to be seen in Northern Washington State, by the Canadian border, and based on DNA tests, there are several unrelated colonies already out there. If we don’t get a handle on this situation soon, this invasive species may become impossible to wipe out, and our bee population may never be the same. And that means we’ll have to hand pollinate all our plants if we want to eat anything natural.
Good grief. What’s next? The zombie apocalypse? The rapture? Killer kittens?