Everything You Need To Know About Murder Hornets

How dangerous are Murderous Asian Hornets?

People actually eat these things Of course, you could always decide to take murder hornets and make murder hornet lemonade. In this case, we could take after Japan and eat them. That’s right — the New York Times reports that the more adventurous palates in the Land of the Rising Sun enjoy them as a pleasant snack and as a stimulating ingredient in drinks. Young or old, there’s a murder wasp flavor for everybody.

Asian Giant Hornets

Some enjoy the grubs “preserved in jars, pan-fried or steamed with rice to make a savory dish called hebo-gohan.” Others like to face their fears head on, enjoying fried or skewered adult hornets … even the stinger. Supposedly they leave a “warming, tingling sensation”, when eaten, but that may just be the pleasant, calming feeling of slipping into the afterlife. You could always drink your hornet, as some enjoy the extra kick they provide to alcohol. Live specimens are sometimes drowned in shochu, a clear, distilled beverage somewhere in between liquor and rice wine in terms of strength. In the few moments before their death, “the insects let out their venom into the liquid, and it is stored until it turns into a dark shade of amber.”

4) Their stings hurt. A lot. If you see an Asian giant hornet, we have good news and bad news. The good news is that they don’t really actively target humans. However, the bad news is that if they do decide to sting you, you’re in a world of pain. Even beekeeper suits can’t stop their stings, which are Bad with a capital B. The sting is said to feel a bit like hot metal being injected in your body. Oh, and not to sound like a broken record but its sting could potentially kill you. Its venom includes a large amount of neurotoxins, and if enough of this stuff enters your body, it can kill you. Sure, one sting may not be enough, but enough of them might — and these being hornets, it’s worth pointing out that they can sting multiple times. This is not a theoretical scenario, either. Reportedly, murder hornets kill as many as 50 people in Japan every year.

3) How can they be dealt with? Now that we are aware of murder hornets being awful for humans and bees alike what can we, or for that matter, the bees do about them? Quite a lot, actually. As mentioned earlier, the WSDA is keeping tabs on the situation, trapping and tracking as sightings emerge. For this purpose, experts urge everyone who sees Asian giant hornets around to steer clear of them, and to be sure to report there sightings, instead of attempting to get rid of the invasive pest by themselves. This is a fight best left to the professionals. As for bees, it turns out some of them have already figured out the way to deal with murder hornets. Some bees have actually managed to figure out that they can’t match the murder hornets’ size and strength, so they employ a sneaky tactic where hundreds of bees swarm the hornet, which is trapped inside a large bee-ball. The bee’s then basically cook the hornet alive by vibrating in unison, which raises the overall temperature to over 115 degrees — which the bees can survive, but the hornet can’t. The tactic takes up to an hour, but it works. Unfortunately, at the moment, only Japanese honey bees seem to know the trick, having developed it over many generations. Here’s to hoping that the Western bees don’t have to learn it the hard way, as well.

2) They mark their targets with a scent When the scouts head out in search of food, they secrete a special scent onto honeybee’s hives so that their fellow hornet’s can find it and team up and launch an attack. They are the only known species of wasp to apply a scent to food targets, according to the entomology journal Psyche.

1) Their preferred areas While it’s currently unclear how these Asian giant hornets came to North America, the area they’ve been spotted in makes sense. They prefer to live in low-altitude forests and mountains and build underground nests. You probably won’t find these insects in high-altitude areas or open plains.

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