No granite is so hard as hatred and no clay so cold as cruelty.

Ursla Le Guin (1929-2018)

The Stars Below, 1974

Murder Hornets

Recorded: August 14th, 2020


Now hundreds of traps are being set in the US state of Washington aiming to catch a potentially deadly intruder. A giant insect, known as the murder hornet has been seen in the area. Usually native to Asia, the hornet is a potential danger to local insects, and on occasion, humans. The BBC's Tim Ullman reports:

Jenni Cena is a woman on a mission. She works with the local Department of Agriculture and she's on the hunt for a giant insect that they call the murder hornet.

We do have a reproducing population. The removal of the nest is critical, cause, one, if it's successful and does [inaudible] can produce more queens that could create more nests the following year.

It's real name is the Asian giant hornet and it's known for its orange markings and its sheer size, reaching around five centimetres in length. Their sting can be fatal to humans. In Japan they kill around 30 to 50 people each year. But the real threat is to honey bees. Living up to its gruesome name the murder hornet will bite off the heads of the bees and devour the contents of their hives.

And, so if we have a chance of, erm, keeping it out of North America we have to do everything we can.

It's a group effort. People putting up traps and trying to kill off the murder hornets. The fear is, if they're not eliminated in the next couple of years, they could spread across much of North America. Tim Ullman, BBC news.


As climate changes accelerates struggles with invasive species are only likely to become more numerous.

if you work out what Jenni Cena is saying please let me know.