Race to Kill Giant Hornets to Save Honeybees Continues In 2021

The officials are having a hard time catching hold of them as they call it a long fight to stop the stealthy spread of these invasive predators.

Asian Giant Hornets
Image : Phipps.conservatory.org

‘Murder Hornets,’ as they are famously called, exist on the top of the food chain and prey on other predators. They have become a difficulty for Beekeepers as the Asian giant hornets (Vespa Mandarina) are gaining a foothold in the United States and Western Canada i.e. in British Columbia and greatly impacting the vulnerable ecosystem.

Murder Hornets a threat for Honeybees and Hives

The year 2020 posed many challenges for the beekeepers who tried all methods to track and kill the invasive murder hornets in a bid to protect the honeybees from the invaders. If left unchecked and unstopped, these hornets may invade heavily on the larvae of honeybees, destroying tens of thousands of hives. The scientists and amateur beekeepers fear an ecosystem menace and, therefore, did their best to plot and track these invaders’ locations to get hold of them since the spring of last year. In October 2020, apiarists in Washington were successful in eradicating an Asian Giant hornet, however, in Canada, the beekeepers encountered various failures in their insect capturing attempts.

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The British Columbia beekeeper’s used bottle traps, steamers, radio transmitters to catch the hornets. Radio transmitters were placed to track the Hornets location using buzzing sounds which may lead experts to their underground nests, but unfortunately, nothing worked.

Hunting the Asian Giant Hornets is no easy play

Asian Giant Hornets

The Asian giant hornet is large in size as compared to the normal insects, but it’s difficult to identify them as they remain in forested areas. They can be found generally if spotted by chance by any public. ‘Dr. Paul Van Westendorp’, a chief beekeeper in BC, told the media that they deployed various measures, but since the Hornets’ nests are underground and few, it is a struggle to capture them in dense forests. Talking about one female specimen of hornets that was captured after someone spotted it, Westendrop mentioned his observation when he dealt with her. As he held the mated queen in his hands and squeezed it, it spits out a huge stinger. It had giant mandibles that also tried to bite the Dr’s hand.

Murder Hornets in British Columbia

The Canadian beekeepers plotted on 5 confirmed sightings of the hornets in 2020 after spanning a 135 sq miles (350 sq km) area. However, they failed to locate any nests in the large area. It’s worrying for them as the Vespa Mandarina is a dangerous species, not only for the honeybees. It also attacks grasshoppers and yellow jacket hornets.

While the apiarists and scientists worry about the imbalance of the ecosystem if the Asian Giant hornets wreak havoc, Dr. Westendorp says he is planning another strategy for this year, and his team will be back with more traps and will keep on working until this long fight is over.


I write stories & news based on Politics, Religion, Health & Lifestyle, Culture, and Technology & Science. I aim to update my readers with the latest news in and around the globe and also familiarize them with the ancient facts and mysteries that surround us. I also love to read, travel, and spend time with my kids.

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