Great… and now we get “Murder Hornets”

Could 2020 possibly get any worse?
Murder Hornets?…
Really?…

Have you seen these things? They look like something out of the anime world.

My social media feed is… abuzz… with stories about people saying it’s not real. They don’t even look real. I first caught wind of the hornets from local social media savant Dave Bohnenkamp.

Well, as much as I’ve seen the stories on the hornets, I’ve also read daily on how no one trusts the media. But here goes. CBS, CNN, the New York Times, and for you conservatives, even Forbes Magazine, have done pieces on these mutant stingers with the Porsche-esque chassis. So no fake news here. And if you don’t trust those sources then take this — the Washington State Department of Agriculture confirmed the presence back in December.

There’s something eerily similar to these hornets, who belong to genus Vespa, to the sleeky Italian Vespa scooters. These things look manufactured by hand, not by God.

Apparently these bully hornets attack the honey bee populations by decapitating the bees and hauling the carcasses back to feed their own hives. What?!

I’m not sure why that’s so ear-popping considering that’s the basis of Elton John’s and Tim Rice’s Circle of Life – and really of evolution’s goal, but there’s something just mean about this. Decapitation? C’mon man.

They’ve started appearing in the northwest part of the country and scientists are scrambling to isolate and contain the growth of the Asian Giant Hornet before it gets out of hand.

And it’s just not the honey bee population that’s in jeopardy, which is bad enough considering their role in ecology. These things can, and do, attack humans with voracity if provoked. Originating on Japanese islands, these thugs kill 50 Japanese people a year on average.

Entomologist Chris Looney posted on the Washington Dept. of Ag’s YouTube page to not engage with these beasts.

“Don’t try to take them out yourself if you see them,” he said. “If you get into them, run away, then call us!”

Take them out?! I mean…. is this going to be a Liam Neeson thing?

And running away just makes them mad. Especially if you smell nice or are sweating. If I ran into them, I can see me immediately sweating… and running.

Scientists in the northwest are watching and hunting these hornets with a hope of eradication. That’s right…. eradicate. That means eliminate from existence. Geesh.

Theories about how these things got into the United States range from terrorism to a hive in a box on a cargo ship…. yep, from China. Branstad….where are you? What are you doing? You told me you were tight with these folks.

Experts say, if not checked, the migration east through the country could take two to three years. In Europe, a recent rampage knocked the honeybee population down 30% and hit the honey market at about two-thirds of production.

All kidding aside, that’s pretty serious, not to mention the pollination impact.

I say we use drones, not mine, equipped with precision lasers to hunt these things down. And decapitation is on the table. I’m not comfortable with killing at any level, but we have enough on our plate. We’ve survived killer bees, but I draw the line at murder hornets.

And speaking of things buggin’ ya. Lee County Health Department has confirmed 16 positive cases of coronavirus, with two people listed as recovered. That number is more than double the amount just a week ago and we aren’t seeing ramped up local testing that is taking place at meat packing plants and long-term care centers.

So please be safe, and take advice from the local health experts regarding preventative measures. We are not trending down nor are we stabilized as Gov. Kim Reynolds indicated were two of the measures considered in opening a county to relaxed restrictions – but I guess that’s Beside the Point.

Chuck Vandenberg is editor/co-founder of the Pen City Current and can be reached by email at editor@pencitycurrent.com

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