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Invasive giant hornets spotted in U.S. for first time

asian giant hornet.JPG
Posted at 8:11 PM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 21:23:54-04

(CNN) — "Asian giant hornets" have been discovered in the United States. Researchers nicknamed it the "murder hornet."

The hornets are more than two inches long and have reportedly been attacking bee hives in Washington State.

Beekeepers have reported piles of dead bees with their heads ripped off, an alarming sight in a country with a rapidly declining bee population.

Its venomous sting can kill a human if they are stung several times, according to experts at Washington State University. They're also strong enough to puncture a beekeeper's suit.

Scientists don't know how these giant hornets native to Asia ended up in Washington state.

The giant hornet was first spotted in the state in December, and scientists believe it started becoming active again last month, when queens emerge from hibernation to build nests and form colonies.

Washington state agricultural officials are asking beekeepers and residents to report any sightings of the giant hornets.