We Stan For Murder Hornets

This week in viral virus-induced fantasies: A plague of misrepresented, invasive insects!

A few months ago, we watched a fascinating scene in the BBC documentary series “Hidden Kingdoms” showing a team of honeybees swarming a sinister-looking hornet and cooking it alive with the vibrations of their tiny little wings.

“Cool,” we thought, closing our laptop and letting the Ambien-like effects of digitized nature lull us to sleep. Little did we know that our world was about to become a never-ending rotation of insomnia-induced streaming and that the hornets in question –– now immortalized as “Murder Hornets” in the eco-cultural zeitgeist — would become the unlikely star of this week’s post-apocalyptic show.

Fortunately, as the Los Angeles Times reports, the little buggers are probably not as bad as you think. While scientists say the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) has officially arrived in North America, they are, at the end of the day, pretty easy to kill. What’s more, so far there are only two confirmed sightings of the invasive insects, both concentrated (and eradicated) in the northwest corner of the US.

“It’s not an existential threat; it’s something that can be managed. You just have to know that they’re there and take the necessary steps,” said Doug Yang, a senior museum scientist at UC Riverside’s Entomology Research Museum in a recent interview with the L.A. Times. “It’s kind of like letting a virus spread — you don’t want to let your guard down.”

Already, the online pendulum has swung to stan for the misrepresented beastes, be it from ravenous food blogs propositioning we eat the monsters to fed up entomologists who just want us to call them regular hornets again.

And while invasive species that could threaten the native honeybee population are certainly nothing to scoff at, we’re here to revive the Murder Hornet’s reputation. After all, they were in all likelihood, brought here by us.

Read more on The Los Angeles Times.