“Murder Hornets” are being spotted in Washington State and the Department of Agriculture is preparing for the possibility of them landing in Hawaii.
The 2″ long insects were seen for the first time in the U.S. back in December. The hornets normally live in east to southeast Asia. The Asian Giant Hornets were given the name “murder hornet” in Japan where they’re known to have killed people and their stingers can penetrate beekeeper suits.
The Department of Agriculture says its currently working to improve its hornet detection programs. There are currently no hornets in Hawaii but if they come, the Department of Agriculture says it’ll likely be through Christmas tree shipments from Washington State later this year. Experts say the insects pose a major problem because they’d kill our local bees which could lead to food shortages.
“They’ll go in they raid a hive and they’ll just kill all the workers and once all the workers are killed they’ll cut off their heads which is why I’m assuming it’s a translation of the Japanese, they’re called murder hornets. Then they’ll go in take all the keiki and take them back to their nest and it’s buffet time,” said Darcy Oishi, biological control section chief at the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
The Department of Agriculture is also on look out for 13 other hornet species. They say its only a matter of time until hornets arrive in Hawaii especially after the greater banded hornet invaded Guam in 2016. They expect hornets to be in Hawaii within the next 5 years.