Have you heard about the giant hornets? Asian hornets are the giant and biggest hornets in the world. These predators are native to South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Asian killer hornets were also seen in North America in 2019, which created a great panic among the people of America. Their source of diet are honeybees, which is not so good. They can even ruin colonies of honeybees in a few hours.
What is an Asian Killer Hornet?
From the genus Vespa, Asian hornets are of the species of V. Mandarina, group V. Tropica. These flying insects are famous for biting the bees’ heads off. Moreover, their armored body and harmful stings are a red flag for humans as well. There are reports of several fatal allergy incidents. But usually, they attack humans only when they feel their nests to be insecure.
Frightening Look of Giant Hornets
Mainly they are of 1.5 to 2 inches long with a yellow, black, and brown body. There are stingers that are surprisingly the size of a honeybee. They have nasty stings for humans also. The stingers are capable of piercing honeybee attire easily.
The sting of such giant hornets can give you pain like your flesh has a hot nail driving in, which is far more toxic and intense than that of a honeybee bite.
The Source of Food-Honey Bees
Asian hornets eat multiple insects, but it seems like they love honeybees as their food. They even destroy a complete hive with many workers and queens. They start by biting honeybee’s head off, which only takes about 90 minutes for a colony. After which they go for feeding by living in a honey bees nest. Not only they eat the pupae and larvae but feed their young as well.
Honeybees are at a Great Risk
The researchers haven’t understood the toxicity and aggression of these hornets. They are harmful to humans as they kill about 30 to 40 humans every year. The European and Asian honeybees don’t know how to defend themselves, whereas Japanese honeybees have tried to kill such hornets by heat balling to protect their young. There are many areas where honeybee species are limited, and they need to be protected for pollination. But such hornets can destroy whole hives and colonies, which is disastrous.
There are two evidential sightings of these hornets in the U.S, and the researchers are waiting for the queens. There are many workers in a colony and some queens. They make underground hives to produce enough heat in winters, for which their mated queens keep forming new hives. As the colonies are established, and they emerge out to find food. They die after a year in winter, which is a good sign. But to stop the spread, many groups are working to find the hidden colonies and destroy them.
They are good for pest control sometimes as they have an eye on a group of insects to feed themselves. For gardens, the Asian killer hornet is beneficial, acting as a pest control method. But they are crucial and harmful for honeybee growth and human health.