New York Times — With queens that can grow to two inches long, Asian giant hornets can use mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to wipe out a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the bees and flying away with the thoraxes to feed their young. For larger targets, the hornet’s potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin.
In Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year. Now, for the first time, they have arrived in the United States.
I'm done predicting what the next hellish Revelation-like plague 2020 is going to unleash upon us, because it will almost surely be topped. As if the shutdown of the United States due to coronavirus wasn't bad enough, we now have murder hornets.
I am terrified of bees and wasps as it is. I will run away from anything that has a stinger and I find this to be a perfectly normal fear — it's actually when I do some of my fastest running. Now I have to worry about hornets whose stings have been likened to "having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into" my flesh?
If you would have asked me four months ago what two things I would like to never come to the United States, I think it would have been difficult to come up with a better two than a pandemic disease capable of shutting down the country and murder hornets.
Possibly the only positive that could come out of this is an unbelievable rebranding opportunity for Georgia Tech. "Yellow Jackets" is a pretty good, unique college nickname, but the Georgia Tech Murder Hornets just hits different. Just tweak the Buzz logo a little bit and come up with a cool new wordmark and those jerseys will fly off the shelves.
Other than that, there's really no good news to report here. We have murder hornets now. I look forward to the next positive development this year.
Fuck you, 2020.