Indeed, after surfacing in Washington in December, the insect interlopers are projected to arrive in the next two to three years in New York, where beekeepers say they’ll inevitably wreak havoc on local hives.
Unlike their counterparts in Japan, who’ve learned to “cook” Asian giant hornets to death like a giant beehive hibachi, the US’ European honeybees haven’t evolved any defense mechanisms. As a result, a small squadron of hornets can clear out an entire nest in a matter of hours, as seen in this shocking video from Japan.
It’s not just bees that need to worry. The Asian hornet’s sting can damage human tissue and feels “like a hot nail being driven into my leg,” one Tokyo entomologist told Smithsonian Magazine.
Even worse, “the venom is like a magnet to other hornets,” according to retired New York Police Department beekeeper Anthony “Tony Bees” Planakis.
“The worst thing anyone can do with these things is kill them,” he recently told The Post, adding that “that scent is going to be airborne, and the rest of the hive will come.”
Just in case you thought giant Asian hornets that can kill people weren’t terrifying enough, a graphic video shows one of the flying terrors stinging a helpless mouse to death. The skin-crawling clip was first posted in 2018, but has since resurfaced amid the murder hornet scourge expected to sweep the US.
The nightmarish minute-and-a-half video, which currently boasts almost 500,000 views on YouTube, shows the orange-and-black brawler locked in a deadly embrace with a mouse on the road in an unknown country. The behemoth hornet, which is the world’s largest at over 2 inches long, eventually emerges the victor and flies away, leaving the poor rodent twitching on the pavement from its multiple stings.
Giant hornets, which reside in the forests of East Asia, have killed up to 50 people a year in Japan using a potent quarter-inch-long stinger that can dissolve human flesh.
Needless to say, the mouse murder video sent shivers down the internet’s collective spine.
“The streets ain’t safe out here,” said one stunned YouTube commenter of the invader.
“Who’s here after hearing about murder hornets entering the US?” asked one internet insectophobe, in reference to the hornet plague currently winging its way toward the East Coast.