Oh, come on! Political unrest, protesting in the streets, The Plague, unemployment, Depression-like economics and now, now, we have killer bees? Okay, I’m done, thanks, but no thanks, I QUIT and I’m going back to 2019. You guys call me when you have 2020 sorted out.
I first became aware of Asian giant hornets (AKA Vespa mandarinia, AKA Murder Hornets, AKA What in the Actual [censored] is Going On Here) through a friend’s text. This is the same friend who tried to convince me that 5G is responsible for Covid and all government officials have been replaced by lizard people from outer space. Soooo, I took his story with more than one grain of salt.
I am terribly unhappy to say that not every conspiracy theory is just a theory. In 2019, the Washington State Department of Agriculture “verified two sightings of Asian giant hornets” (Livescience.com). Okay, big deal – so someone saw two hornets…and? And I think Mother Nature is mad at us.
These aren’t just any hornets, oh, no. These hornets are like if someone decided to combine Murder, Inc., The Crips and The Hell’s Angels all together just to see what would happen. First off, they’re big. The Queens can “grow to be 2 inches…while female workers and males [are] about 1 to 1.5 inches” (Livescience.com). Also, the ladies sting. One person equated the sting to getting a hot nail driven through his leg (Livescience.com). And just to keep it interesting, hornets have smooth stingers, so they can sting and sting until they get bored.
With most bees, wasps and hornets, if a human doesn’t provoke them, a human will be all right. That might just be the case with Vespa mandarinia. However, in 2013, after swarms of hornets attacked in China, they had a body count: 42 people dead and 1,600 injured” (Business.insider.com). I’m not really getting a gentle giant vibe from these guys.
Besides the damage that these psychos can do to humans, the Vespa man is even worse to bees. Bees are important to our world; they are pollinators, they make honey, they are integral to our ecosystem. A killer hornet stalks a single bee and follows it to the beehive. The hornet marks the hive with pheromones and calls in the crew. What happens next is pure carnage: “within a few hours, a…honey bee colony of 30,000 to 50,000 is slaughtered by a group of 15 to 30 hornets” (Livescience.com).” Decapitation, dismemberment, Texas Chainsaw Massacre levels of brutality. The hornets even chew up the baby bee larvae into a paste to feed to their own kids (Livescience.com).
Our European honey bees have brought a paper airplane to an atomic bomb fight. However, Japanese honey bees have evolved to the point where they have some defense. When one of the Japanese bees clocks a Murder Hornet, she calls her crew and it gets weird: these bees swarm the hornet and create a ball around it. Then, they vibrate “their flight muscles to generate heat [until] temperatures build to 116 degrees Fahrenheit” (Livescience.com), killing the hornet. The bees are A-OK.
Washington State is encouraging residents to take photos if they believe they’re looking at a Vespa man (Businessinsider.com), but at this point, we don’t know how many we have or how to stop them. How did they get here? One idea is that they came over with cargo. The other theory is that someone deliberately released them. As destructive as people can be, I’m sort of leaning towards the latter.
The groundskeepers at the Bourke Accounting office run a tight ship – we have no hives of any kind. Just like a Bourke Accounting expert, our maintenance people hold your protection as the priority. And even if we are swarmed by aggressive Murder hornets, at least you can rest assured that your financial interests are as well protected by a Bourke Accounting specialist as a Japanese honey bee protecting her hive.
Written by Sue H.