May 2, 2020 - Energy & Environment

"Murder hornets" arrive in the U.S.

In this image, a cluster of bees are on a tree
A swarm of bees in West Reading, Penns. on April 21. Scientists are concerend that Asian giant hornets could "decimate" U.S. bee populations. Photo: Lauren A. Little/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

Asian giant hornets, called by some researchers as "murder hornets," have arrived in the U.S., the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The insects, which were spotted by a beekeeper in Washington state in December, kill roughly 50 people a year in Japan — and scientists are worried they "could decimate bee populations" in the U.S., the Times reports.

What they're saying: “This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Chris Looney, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, told the Times. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”

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