Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worst for America right now with the coronavirus pandemic, Giant Asian hornets have reportedly begun to invade the U.S. and may cost the economy millions of dollars a year.
Experts estimate the pests may cause America a staggering $29.3 million as they invade. The invasion is projected as a coronavirus-stricken U.S. is already facing economic setbacks.
Millions are out of work – with nearly 17 million applying for unemployment in the last three weeks alone – as more than 432,000 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the U.S. alone.
Many experts have warned of a looming recession, as businesses have been forced to shutter their doors due to stay-at-home orders.
These deadly hornets are capable of killing with a single sting, and may have a devastating impact on the already dwindling honeybee population in the U.S. Asian hornets are similar to European hornets that live in the U.S. but are not native to America.
They are large in size measuring almost 2 inches long, originally from Southeast Asia, that prey on small creatures -, especially bees. Just one sting from these monsters is enough to kill someone allergic to their venom. The Hornets were accidentally introduced to France from China in 2004 and they have been spreading rapidly throughout Europe and other parts of the world ever since. Experts have estimated that the Asian hornet colonized most of France at a rate of roughly 37 to 50 miles per year.
It is not known how or where the hornet first arrived in North America. Insects are frequently transported in international cargo and are sometimes transported deliberately.
At home in the forests and low mountains of eastern and southeast Asia, the hornet feeds on large insects, including native wasps and bees. In Japan, it devastates the European honey bee, which has no effective defense.
The giant hornets have been spreading to other countries including Spain in 2010, Portugal and Belgium in 2011, Italy in 2012 and Germany in 2014. The invasive hornets made it to the UK in 2016 – and in December 2019, were first spotted in the U.S. in Washington. According to The Sun, Experts are now warning that the hornets will begin to swarm in spring, as the hornet’s life cycle begins in April. According to a new study – published first in the journal NeoBiota – French scientists evaluated the estimated cost of this non-native hornet invasion to the U.S. and Europe.
They have also analyzed the negative impact these Asian hornets have on ecosystems and the global decline in pollination and honey production. Experts in Washington are calling for people to take swift action now so that the species can be controlled before it becomes out of hand. “As a new species entering our state, this is the first drop in the bucket,” Todd Murray, WSU Extension entomologist, and invasive species specialist told Washington State University. Murray said once invasive species take a foothold, they cause “forever changes” to agriculture and ecosystems. “We need to teach people how to recognize and identify this hornet while populations are small so that we can eradicate it while we still have a chance.”
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