Tennessee Prepares To Combat “Murder Hornets” In Mid-May

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State officials of Tennessee announced the state will begin setting traps in mid-May for the Giant Asian Hornet, known more commonly as the murder hornet. The state originally planned to put out the traps in June but experts advised for an earlier time frame.

Averaging just over 2 inches long, the murder hornet is the world’s largest hornet. It can wipe out an entire honeybee colony in a matter of hours and also packs a lethal sting. The venom that is injected with each sting contains a pheromone that attracts other hornets and essentially tells them what/where to swarm and attack. Because of this, an individual hornet will usually sting multiple times.

The good news is, they’re not likely to attack a human unless they feel threatened or their hive is disturbed.

The biggest issue however, isn’t what they can do to people. Scientists are concerned for the honeybee populations across the United States. The bees perform a critical role in the growing of food crops and are necessary for our ecosystem.

Tennessee plans to combat these hornets by trapping them. Michael Struder, Tennessee’s apiarist told ABC News,

“We’re trapping areas where they’re bringing in plant material because that’s the way they believe they came in was through plant material. It’s possible they could be in potted plants over in Washington and got shipped over here. Or they’ve come directly in from China, Japan or Taiwan.”

He also mentioned that photos taken by Tennessee residents claiming to have seen a Giant Asian Hornet in Tennessee, are all actually of European Hornets which pose less of a threat.

Watch the video below to hear what some experts are saying about this new threat to the honeybee population.