Murder hornet 2021 – Insect found near Seattle, Washington in first sighting of year as experts warn of 'serious danger'

A GIANT hornet capable of killing humans and wiping out entire beehives was discovered north of Seattle on Wednesday, causing major concerns for authorities.

It was the first sighting of the dangerous "murder hornet" in North America this year.

A resident found the dead hornet on his lawn in Snohomish County on June 4 and reported it immediately to agriculture officials.

Scientists have warned for months that the killer species poses a massive public health threat.

Asian Giant Hornets can use their sharp jaws to tear through human skin, one expert has said.

Read of Murder Hornets live blog for all the latest news and updates

  • Katie Balevic

    EXPERTS SAY NEW MURDER HORNET IS UNRELATED TO PREVIOUS YEARS' HORNETS

    The dead Asian giant hornet found north of Seattle on June 4 appears to be a new variant of the insect compared to previous types, experts say.

    In 2019 and 2020, hornets were found along the Canadian border, the AP reported.

    Sven Spichiger, an entomologist with the state Agriculture Department, said the newly found hornets don't have the orange bands on the abdomen that previous years' of the insect.

  • Katie Balevic

    HORNETS CAN KILL 50 PEOPLE PER YEAR

    Murder Hornets' poisonous venom can destroy human cells and sends signals of constant pain to human nerves.

    The deadly insects have been known to kill up to 50 people a year in their native country Japan, Ramsey said.

    Credit: AP
  • Katie Balevic

    WASHINGTON STATE SCRAMBLING TO CONTAIN WASPS

    This special species of wasp originates from Asia and is capable of knocking out local populations of honeybees that pollinate crops while its sting is known to be fatal to humans.

    A resident found the dead hornet on his lawn in Snohomish County on June 4 and reported it immediately to agriculture officials, who say the dried-out pest appeared to be from a previous season.

    "The find is perplexing because it is too early for a male to emerge,” said Dr Osama El-Lissy, deputy administrator for the US Department of Agriculture’s quarantine program.

    Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists pose with a colony of Asian giant hornets they removed by vacuum from a treeCredit: Reuters
  • Katie Balevic

    MURDER HORNET FOUND NORTH OF SEATTLE

    A giant hornet capable of killing humans and wiping out entire beehives was discovered north of Seattle on Wednesday, causing major concerns for authorities.

    It was the first sighting of the dangerous "murder hornet" in North America this year and has prompted scientists to act quickly to stop the deadly insect from getting a foothold on the continent.

  • Katie Balevic

    MURDER HORNET NEST WITH 200 QUEENS FOUND

    The first “murder hornet” nest found in Washington state had five hundred of the killer insects – with almost 200 queens  living inside of it.

    The nest of Asian giant hornets, which was found in Whatcom County in October, was said to be the size of a basketball and was located in a tree.

    State agriculture officials said on Tuesday that roughly 500 specimens in “various stages of development” were discovered inside the nest.

    Close to 200 queen hornets were found, entomologist Sven-Erik Spichiger said, adding that 76 were “grown virgins, which have the potential to leave, mate and then start their own nests.”

    “It really seems we got there just in the nick of time,″ Spichiger told local news outlets. 

    “There’s no way for us to ever be certain whether we got them all.”

  • Katie Balevic

    HORNETS BITE THE HEADS OFF OF BEES

    Hornets bite the heads off of bees as they leave their hives.

    One hornet can also eat 50 bees in a day.

  • Katie Balevic

    HORNETS CAN WREAK HAVOC ON BEE POPULATION

    Asian Hornets can give a powerful sting and wreak 'havoc' with the UK's bee population.

    The species began to spread through Europe in 2004 after arriving in the south of France inside a freight ship.

    They were was spotted in the British Isles on the Channel Island of Jersey in late 2016.

    But after years of establishing themselves on Jersey and Guernsey, the battleground shifted last year to Southern England.

    This led to calls for a "people's army" to help fight off an impending invasion of killer hornets onto mainland Britain.

    Asian hornets are similar to European hornets but they are not native to the UK.

    The hornets are able to kill with one sting among people who have an allergy, while they also pose a threat to the environment and native species.

    One hornet can also eat 50 bees in a day.

  • Katie Balevic

    KILLER HORNETS INVADED BRITAIN IN APRIL

    Killer Asian hornets invaded British homes in April after having been blown over from France.

    The number of queens found on the Channel Islands, seen as the insects’ British Isles’ base, has tripled in just one week.

    Experts on Jersey – seen as the frontline in the fight against the deadly insects – said the large increase was caused by the insects “blowing in” from mainland Europe by strong easterly winds.

    This has led to fears of a summer-long battle to stop the spread of the insects that could decimate the UK's native bee population.

  • Katie Balevic

    DEAD MURDER HORNET FOUND ON JUNE 4

  • Katie Balevic

    EXPERTS SAY THIS IS A NEW SPECIMEN COMPARED TO PREVIOUS MURDER HORNETS

    Officials say the latest specimen is unrelated to insects found over the last two years.

    “We’ll now be setting traps in the area and encouraging citizen scientists to trap in Snohomish and King counties,” said Sven Spichiger, an entomologist with the state Agriculture Department.

    “None of this would have happened without an alert resident taking the time to snap a photo and submit a report.”

  • Katie Balevic

    EAST COAST PREPARES FOR HORNET INVASION

    Meanwhile, the NYPD's Bee Unit is preparing for a possible Murder Hornet invasion on the East Coast as they prey on honey bees, an endangered population.

    The US Department of Agriculture has said that the hornets could still gain foothold in the mainland US, so officials are now scrambling to save the bees.

    Many experts have advised people to leave the hornets alone if they spot them.

    Hundreds of the species were found in Canada and south of the border in Washington in 2019 and 2020.

  • Katie Balevic

    MURDER HORNETS ARE NEARLY THE SIZE OF A HUMAN THUMB

    Credit: AP
  • Katie Balevic

    HORNETS CAN KILL 50 PEOPLE PER YEAR

    Murder Hornets' poisonous venom can destroy human cells and sends signals of constant pain to human nerves.

    The deadly insects have been known to kill up to 50 people a year in their native country Japan, Ramsey said.

  • Katie Balevic

    HORNETS CAN 'TEAR THROUGH HUMAN SKIN'

    Scientists have warned for months that the killer species poses a massive public health threat.

    Asian Giant Hornets can use their sharp jaws to tear through human skin, one expert has said.

    Dr. Samuel Ramsey has been "sounding the alarm about this insect for months".

    "It is a very large insect. About the size of your thumb. It has these very sharp, large mandibles that are attached to these really big muscles that allow it to chew through a lot of different fabrics," he told WUSA.

    "They can chew through skin, and they also have a really long stinger," he described.

  • Katie Balevic

    WASHINGTON STATE SCRAMBLING TO CONTAIN HORNETS

    This special species of wasp originates from Asia and is capable of knocking out local populations of honeybees that pollinate crops while its sting is known to be fatal to humans.

    A resident found the dead hornet on his lawn in Snohomish County on June 4 and reported it immediately to agriculture officials, who say the dried-out pest appeared to be from a previous season.

    "The find is perplexing because it is too early for a male to emerge,” said Dr Osama El-Lissy, deputy administrator for the US Department of Agriculture’s quarantine program.

  • Katie Balevic

    MURDER HORNET FOUND NORTH OF SEATTLE

    A giant hornet capable of killing humans and wiping out entire beehives was discovered north of Seattle on Wednesday, causing major concerns for authorities.

    It was the first sighting of the dangerous "murder hornet" in North America this year and has prompted scientists to act quickly to stop the deadly insect from getting a foothold on the continent.

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