Wednesday, May 06, 2020


I've been reading in the news for the last few weeks about an insect from Asia that somehow made its way to the state of Washington, and it's causing concerns among beekeepers. It's called a murder hornet. "WSU researchers said the hornets attack the beehives, decapitating and killing the adults and eating the larvae and pupae. Just a few of the hornets can completely destroy a hive in a matter of hours."

I said all that to say this – Early this morning, Jilda and I were sitting on our sofa, sipping our first cup of coffee.  I was reaching for a seed catalog when I noticed something sinister sitting there glaring at me. It was about an inch and a half long. It looked as big as a helicopter.

A friend gave us an electronic fly swatter several years ago, and it's one of the most useful gifts we've ever received. We use it to smite yellow jackets and red wasps that make their way into the house.

I gently eased the zapper down over the hornet and punched the button a few times. You could see tiny sparks coming from its legs and wings.

The first thing that crossed my mind was that it was a murder hornet.  I fetched an empty pill bottle from the kitchen drawer and dropped the hornet into the bottle. Snapping the lit shut, I thought I'd preserve the hornet and contact the extension service to see if one of the specialists wanted to have a look.

During the day, I got word that this was an Asian hornet, and not the murder hornet.  I was about to go toss it into the chicken pen when I noticed it moving.

I looked at it a long time, and instead of tossing its corps to the chickens, I decided to toss the critter into the woods by the house and give it a chance to flee. I may live to regret this decision, but at the time, it seemed like the right thing to do.


  1. That Murder Hornet as you say is scary. I fear the invasion about as much as I fear the Corona Virus. I can remember the first fire-ant hills I saw in Florida. We stopped to examine it. We had never saw any in NC. It wasn't but a matter of a few years they passed Georgia and SC and were here. Now they are all over the place. The M. Hornet is far more dangerous to our well being.Yes , a Capitol YIKES!
    Sherry & jack

  2. If that thing could survive an electric swatter, it would scare me. Release it? I think you should have taken it behind the barn and shot it.

  3. I am with you. I would have released it too. If it could survive being electrocuted it deserves another chance. I hope you don't regret it.

  4. A local bee keeper has found one Murder Hornet in a hive down near the border - and they were able to kill it safely etc. I think the bee keepers are going on guard as they look after their bees/hives.

  5. Hornets are all murderers as far as I'm concerned. That looks like a mean one.
    Hugs, Julia

  6. I have one of the bug zappers but I'v never used it. I guess I should put some batteries in and make good use of it. My porch is screened in but sometimes bugs do come in when you open the door to go out. Thanks for letting us know that it works, I hope that hornet doesn't com back to bite you.

  7. You have just given me my worst nightmare!

  8. Yikes! I am immediately thinking of some 1950s horror film where they are gigantic and we are the tiny honey bees

  9. I don't like him, but I'm glad you gave him another chance at life.



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