The Murder Hornets Are Back — Consider Yourself Warned

After months without hearing any mention of the chilling phrase "murder hornet," you may be wondering if the creature existed only in some half-forgotten nightmare from last year. Unfortunately, murder hornets are real, and there’s at least one buzzing around the state of Washington as you read this. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) recently announced that a murder hornet — the first living specimen seen in 2021 — was spotted near a paper wasp nest outside Blaine, Wash., on August 11. WSDA workers are now focused on trapping a live hornet and letting it lead them to its nest, so they can launch another eradication mission. Murder hornets live up to their homicidal moniker, and they can kill you if you sustain multiple stings. Their main target, however, is honeybees. It only takes a few hornets to decimate an entire beehive within hours, which they do by ripping the heads off the bees and then flying the bees’ bodies back to their nests, where they’re eaten by baby hornets. In other words, murder hornets are a huge threat to bee populations, and it’s important to keep them from further propagating. If you think you see one in Washington State, you should report it here.