Present for more than 15 years in France, the Asian hornet has so far spared the United States. And yet, such insects, slightly larger than Europeans, were recently found in this country. The United States fears an invasion of its territory, an obvious threat to bees and beekeepers’ operations. In addition, the Asian hornet can completely attack humans with, sometimes, a fatal outcome.
Risk of invasion
The United States is currently struggling with the Covid-19 epidemic. However, this country could in the near future see another scourge on its territory. It is the Asian hornet, a particularly invasive species that has already colonized all of Europe since 2004. In France, the Asian hornet had completed the colonization of the entire territory in 2017.
According to a New York Times article published on May 2, 2020, the United States is now affected. In fact, two Asian hornets were found in Washington State at the end of 2019. This finding raises fears of a rapid spread in the United States but also throughout North America. Let’s also mention the case of a beekeeper from the same region, who practices at the same time noticed real carnage in his operation. Thousands of bees were lying on the ground, beheaded. However, it is simply the murderous style of Asian hornets.
A cold-blooded killer
The potential invasion of the Asian hornet into North America is also a danger to humans. Indeed, these insects are not only concerned with the destruction of beehives. Particularly aggressive when disturbed, the Asian hornet can attack men. However, an individual who has been bitten several times can lose his life. In Japan each year, the Asian hornet would kill as many as 50 people! Likewise, in China in 2013, around 40 people died after a terrible attack.
Scientists and beekeepers in the United States have already raised the alarm and are trying to find a way to avoid a permanent establishment of the Asian hornet. The fact is that the bee is an essential insect for ecosystems and its preservation is more than necessary.
In 2018, we were talking about an incredible video showing how 30 Asian hornets could overcome a hive of 30,000 bees in just a few hours. It is true that this is a totally unbalanced fight since the hornet is about five times larger than a bee. Beekeepers must redouble their ingenuity in an attempt to stem the phenomenon. These include, for example, developing effective traps.