Deadly hornets from Asia that measure up to 2 inches and can wipe out entire honeybee colonies within hours have been spotted for the first time in the U.S.
The so-called “murder hornets” – which also are blamed for killing 50 people a year in Japan – have been spotted in Washington state. According to The New York Times, they can rip through a hive and kill a bee every 14 seconds.
(Washington State Department of Agriculture)
But researchers are describing an interesting defense being employed against the menacing hornet: the Japanese honeybee. Bees in Japan have been known to form a ball around the invader and vibrate to produce heat, which can essentially cook a hornet to death. The report said bees can survive in extreme temperatures and can kill a hornet in an hour.
The Times reported that European honeybee – which are common in the U.S. – try to sting the hornet, which proves futile due to their tough exoskeleton. A researcher told the paper that the Japanese honeybee learned to adapt through generations.
“Our honeybees, the predator has never been there before, so they have no defense,” Ruthie Danielsen, a beekeeper in Washington, told the Times.
Fox News' Robert Gearty contributed to this report