Murder hornets certainly have a fearsome name. But do they deserve this reputation? You decide, as we count down the top 5 powers of the murder hornet.
Power 5: They can fly at 25 miles per hour
Out of all wasp species, murder hornets have recorded the fastest flying speeds. At 25 miles per hour, they can catch most of their insect prey with ease. Outrunning these hornets is not going to be very effective, to say the least.
Power 4: They can eradicate a honey bee colony in as little as 2 hours
Murder hornets raid beehives in order to access both the honey and the bee brood from within the nest. They are ruthless when they attack a hive in numbers. They will first decapitate the worker bees before entering the hive. In Asia, honey bees have developed defense strategies. The bees will form a ball with their bodies, enclosing the hornets within. The friction created kills the hornets. Wasps in Europe and America have not evolved these tactics, however. If murder hornets are able to establish themselves in America it could be devastating for the local honey bees.
Power 3: Their stinger is a quarter of an inch long
The stinger is long enough to penetrate thick clothing. Due to their size, regular protective clothing used by beekeepers is not adequate protection from these hornets. Luckily they do not readily attack people. Staying well clear of their nest is very important, however, as being stung by these hornets is a serious business.
Power 2: They can deliver 10 times more venom in a single sting than a honey bee
While they don’t have the most toxic of stings, the sheer size of the murder hornet – 1.5 inches – means that each sting delivers a lot of venom. They can also sting multiple times. A large number of stings, around 100 or so, has the potential to kill a person. The venom in one sting has the power to kill up to 10 mice.
Power 1: Murder hornets can spray venom
Bears are a natural predator for murder hornets as they are attracted to the concentration of hornet larvae in the nest. Spraying venom is a defense used against bears, but also humans. One such case can be found in a report of a 77-year-old man in Japan suffering permanent eye damage as a result of the venom. Other wasp species such as bald-faced hornets can also spray venom. They will spray their venom if you get too close to their nest. They can detect the co2 in an animal’s breath and recognize the dark shape that resembles a bear.
With these 5 powers, murder hornets certainly earn my respect. Read more about murder hornets here.