What to Know About Murder Hornets

Just One More Thing to Add to Your “Why 2020 Can’t Get Even Worse Lists.”


Nicolina Bilella, Staff Writer

The Asian Giant Hornets or also known as the Japanese Gain Hornet is the world’s largest and now trending hornet.

As the name says the hornets originate from Asia, more specifically the southeast portion. They can range from one and a half to two inches. That may seem that big at a first; however, compare that to a honeybee which is about fifteen millimeters (one and a half centimeters) or a European Hornet, which according to Wiki.how it’s “the only true hornet in the USA and Canada.” The hornet has a wingspan around 75 millimeters or three inches and a stinger of six millimeters or one fourth of an inch long, and yes that spews a lot of poisonous venom and can kill a human. The Japanese Giant Hornet has a head of a light version of orange with brown antennae. Proceeding that is dark brown to black eyes and it has a black tooth. The hornet has a yellow-orange base, an abdomen with dark brown or black and yellow-orange stripes, and a dark brown thorax with gray wings. The legs are contrasting yellow-orange with a stinger of the same color.

They have a nickname of Murder Hornets due to their violent behavior especially in hunting. The hornet separates the head of mostly insects and crustaceans from the thorax.  As stated by terminix.com, this gives the hornets better access to more muscles from the thorax. They usually hunt in groups so other bugs who fall victim are in for a real treat. The hornets are obviously predators to a lot of animals such as yellow jackets, honey bees and paper wasp and their nests. A study by Purdue University says one Asian giant hornet can kill as many as forty honey bees per minute. Luckily humans aren’t their chief target, but it’s suggested that you should stay ten feet away from their nest to avoid the wrath of a hornet. Or rather that the Japanese term (殺人スズメバチ/satsujin suzumebachi) which translates to murder hornet.  Clearly that literal term could have contributed to the English nickname.

Although these insects came from Eastern Asia they have been appearing in North America. Their invasion is to the countries farther away from the equator such as Canada and places in the United States like the state of Washington. Considering this happened in the winter of this year, it seems the bees are resistant to cold temperatures, where it’s to be expected hornets would die.  These hornets not just bigger but are harder to kill.

People who have just recently heard of this are adding hornets onto their “Why 2020 Can’t Get Even Worse Lists.” However if you are in an area with the Asian Giant Hornets, some advice is just stay away from them and their nest. Another thing, the bees aren’t much a threat to humans, so unless that changes don’t lose hope for the year.