As some sang “Auld Lang Syne” eight-plus months ago, many Americans couldn’t wait to shake the dust of 2020 off their feet.
To say the least, it wasn’t a clean break.
And now, yet another component of the century’s worst year has rallied.
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome again to the stage the murder hornet.
To almost quote a Thin Lizzy song, the bees are back in town (fact checkers: Hornets aren’t bees).
In Washington state, officials have confirmed the year’s first sighting of the walloping winged stinger.
Just below the Canadian border, someone captured the moment an arthropodan assassin attacked a wasp nest.
“The report was submitted by a Whatcom County resident on Aug. 11,” a Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) press release confirms.
WSDA entomologists reviewed and confirmed the report as an Asian giant hornet on Aug. 12. The report included a photograph of an Asian giant hornet attacking a paper wasp nest in a rural area east of Blaine, about 2 miles from where WSDA eradicated the first Asian giant hornet nest in the United States last October.
“This hornet is exhibiting the same behavior we saw last year – attacking paper wasp nests,” [a scientist] said.
In July of 2020, I reported on the flying freak’s first discovery in the U.S.
It occurred in the same corner of the country:
The invasive species — which hunts honey bees and whose sting can kill a person — was taken down by another crafty predator: humans.
On October 21st, two of the up-to-two-inch terrors were trapped in the Pacific Northwest.
Two more were caught the next day.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture distracted at least one with jam while a transmitter was attached with dental floss. In all, three of the injurious insects were tracked.
Workers discovered a hive the size of a basketball.
WSDA staff vacuumed out what were estimated to be 200 hornets. Workers were prepared to remove the entire tree if necessary.
Agricultural Department entomologist Sven-Erik Spichiger offered — like a great 80’s movie — “We extract them alive. We will kill them.”
But they didn’t kill them all.
And so — like an inevitable 80’s sequel — the monsters are among us.
How many more critters might return before ’21’s done?
The Year of the Lockdown’s pests included the following:
Move Over Murder Hornets – Beware the Coronavirus Cannibal Rat https://t.co/u42jRsFqEK
— RedState (@RedState) May 26, 2020
WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!!!!
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) December 31, 2020
Is this all real, or are we trapped in a movie?
— Alex Parker (@alexparker1984) May 31, 2020
And we bounded into January with promise of a plague:
Their Name is ‘Brood’: America Prepares for a Plague of ‘Trillions’ of Locusts https://t.co/vgqV9vjmLB
— RedState (@RedState) January 22, 2021
Evidently, murder hornets were on deck.
Even so, our hero’s again on the job.
From the WSDA:
“This hornet is exhibiting the same behavior we saw last year – attacking paper wasp nests,” Sven Spichiger, WSDA managing entomologist said. “If you have paper wasp nests on your property and live in the area, keep an eye on them and report any Asian giant hornets you see. Note the direction they fly off to as well.”
“In response to this detection,” the Department relays, “WSDA will be setting live traps in the area in an attempt to catch a live hornet, tag it, and track it back to the nest. The British Columbia government will likewise be setting additional traps in Canada as this detection was approximately half a mile from the U.S./Canadian border.”
Will there be more Spalding-sized nests?
Only time will tell.
2019, you were more of a sweetheart than we knew.
Still, I’m holding on to an image from last year — call it a symbol of hope.
This is us…
At least, I hope so…
Follow the link, and be encouraged if you can:
A Rat Surfs the Flood in the Philipines, and It’s the Best Symbol of 2020 I’ve Seen – Except One https://t.co/hzrF7eyCh5
— RedState (@RedState) November 18, 2020
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