Housebound - Day 55 (Hornet Edition)
From CBS News:
A roughly 2-inch long insect known as the "murder hornet" has made its way to the U.S. for the first time ever, researchers said. The Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, has been known to kill up to 50 people a year in Japan, according to The New York Times, and has the potential to devastate U.S. bee populations, which have already been declining.
Trump Press Conference on Murder Hornets
Trump: OK, let’s get started here, I’m leaving to tour a mask factory soon. You all know about the newest Asian invader, this animal. Well many people think of it as an animal, or a small bird of some kind, like maybe a Hummingbird. But it’s really a bug. Not a bug like a virus but the other kind.
Anthony Fauci: An insect, Mr. President.
Trump: Don’t correct, me Tony.
Fauci: Yes, Sir. I mean, no, Sir.
Trump: So listen: everyone is all worked up about this thing, this wasp or whatever. Hornet, many people are calling it. Murder Hornet. Which does sound very, very bad, very dangerous. But I’m here to tell you we have this thing under control.
Reporter #1: But isn’t it here already, and spreading?
Trump: That is a very stupid question. Are you a stinger bug expert? Because I know a lot about these things. There’s like maybe one or two isolated Murderous Hornets on the West Coast. Where they belong. We have them under control.
Reporter #2: But Sir, they have been seen in several states already.
Trump: Did you see them?
Reporter #2: Well, no, not personally but…
Trump: Then you don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s like the same two hornets, moving around, flying, and people say they are spreading. But what if it’s two male hornets? Or two girl ones? How would they reproduce? Tony?
Fauci: That’s true, Mr. President, they could not mate and spread under those conditions.
Trump: See? Listen, people are getting worked up over nothing. In like a month, when it’s summer, these hornets—not just the killer ones, but the littler, friendly ones—will all die out. Trust me. It’s going to be a miracle. Like maybe one or two people will be attacked and stung to death. Which will be very painful and horrible for those people. And their families. And probably a lot of bees will also be killed. Like ten trillion. But we’re not going to shut down the economy for two or three Asian murderous bugs. We can’t let the cure be worse than the sting.
Reporter #1: Sir, what should people do if they see a Murder Hornet? Should they report it to a government agency?
Trump: Rolled up newspaper. A big one. Next question.
Reporter #2: But Sir! They say getting stung by a Murder Hornet is like having a red-hot thumbtack stuck in your skin.
Trump: That’s a dumb thing to say. You are dumb. Where do you work?
Reporter #2: BuzzFeed News.
Trump: BuzzFeed? You’re obviously with the Hornets.
-- Josh Piven
7/12/2021 03:33:18 pm
I've seen Murder Hornets, surprisingly big ones, in Woodstock, NY. If they're able to survive the climate in Woodstock (mountainous peaks with hot summers, snowy winters) there's obviously a population of them somewhere. I assume they have a pretty long range because they're so large and they fly very fast. The first time I saw one was in the summer of 2016. I was sitting at a picnic table between several out-building warehouses. I never saw anything like it. It looked like a plastic toy. I thought it was a humming bird, then it hovered for a moment and I saw that it was indeed a very large wasp or hornet. Bright orange with dark wings. Before that sighting the largest wasps I had noticed around were more common, Great Golden Diggers. Someone else who was in the same area daily told me that they heard they were introduced as a measure to regulate some other invasive species but I really didn't know if that was true. I am an avid insect and small animal observer. If you see one of these you will remember it. I wish I knew the size of the first one I saw because it really seemed mutant compared to the pictures I have seen on google. It certainly wouldn't be the first time that this area provided enough sustenance to an insect or arthropod that caused it to grow to an abnormally large size. The thing was like a fist.
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