The Arrival of the ‘Murder Hornet’


It came to the United States from Asia and first appeared in Washington State. The country was slow to recognize it. Deaths mounted as it circulated for weeks undetected. And now, if it’s not stopped, it could reshape populations and industries across the country. Today, we discuss the arrival of the Asian giant hornet. Guest: Mike Baker, a Pacific Northwest correspondent for The New York Times who spoke with Ted McFall, a beekeeper in Washington State. For more information on today’s episode, visit

Background reading:

  • The Asian giant hornet can kill humans with its stings. It also decapitates bees methodically. If the hornets spread across the United States and devastate bee populations, which we depend on for one out of every three bites of food we eat, our food supply could be threatened.
  • Although the Asian giant hornet kills honeybees in their hives, some bees have developed a remarkable defense: cooking the hornets alive.

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