If you’ve been browsing social media lately, chances are high that you’ve seen posts about giant hornets. When these posts first started appearing, a lot of people blew them off. After all, this news surfaced not too long after the pandemic hit. So, naturally people started to think it was the news blowing things up. However, the giant hornet is very real and it not only poses a minor threat to humans, it also poses a major threat to our best pollinators, honey bees.
Thankfully, giant hornets do not appear to be the threat to humans that most people seem to think they are. So far, there have only been four confirmed sightings. Don’t get me wrong. They can still sting and if a person is stung enough, it can be fatal. But, the winged stinger most people are seeing isn’t a giant hornet. It’s either a bumble bee or a Cicada Killer Wasp, which again, sounds worse than it is. These wasps kill cicadas, not humans.
Defining Giant Hornets
Asian giant hornets are 1.5 to 2 inches, which is a giant for these winged stingers. Thay have a large yellow or orange head and black eyes. Their thorax is mostly dark brown or black and their abdomen has alternating brown or black and yellow or orange rings. Males have seven abdominal segments while females have six. They have massive mandibles (teeth), which they use to tear honeybees in half.
Honeybees are more at risk during the late summer or early fall, when worker bees are feeding their new queens. To attack a bee colony, the giant hornet will excrete a pheromone marker on the hive which signals that it has become a target. Fifty hornets can then attack the hive and leave it decimated within just two hours.
Giant hornets are far more of a threat to honeybees and their own kind than humans. Asian Giant Hornets do not attack people unless they feel threatened, which is the case of all winged stingers. However, their stingers are longer than bees/wasps and their venom is toxic, so it’s still important to be cautious around them.
Here are some tips to help with that:
- Calmly leave any area where you think a giant hornet may be inhabiting, especially if you are allergic to wasp or bee stings
- Keep a close eye on attic spaces, wall voids and tree cavities as this is where hornets like to make their nests
If you have a wasp, bee or hornet problem in and around your home/business, don’t risk being stung, call in a professional. Giant Hornet or not, Wildout Animal and Pest Control can take care of your needs. Want more information, just give us a call: 844-945-3688