Lesson of the Day: ‘“Murder Hornets” in the U.S.: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet’

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Lesson of the Day: ‘“Murder Hornets” in the U.S.: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet’

Sightings of the Asian giant hornet have prompted fears that the vicious insect could establish itself in the United States and devastate bee populations.

In this lesson, you will learn why this insect is such a threat, what is being done to stop it, and why experts believe there is a short amount of time to act.

What do you know about bees? What is pollination, and what role do bees play in it? How does pollination contribute to the cultivation of foods like fruits and vegetables?

What have you heard or read about the decline in the bee population in recent years?

Read the article, then answer the following questions:

1. What details from the article explain the Asian giant hornet’s moniker “murder hornet”?

2. Why were beekeepers seemingly among the first people in the United States to see the Asian giant hornet?

3. Why do scientists believe the Asian giant hornets found in Washington and British Columbia were not part of the same colony? How did tests confirm this theory?

4. Who is Chris Looney? Why does he feel there is a small window of time in which the hornets must be stopped? How does he hope to trap the hornets?

5. What challenges do Dr. Looney and others working toward the same goal face? How might technology play a role in stopping the hornets?

What is the difference between Japanese honeybees and European honeybees, the most common pollinator in the United States? How has the Japanese honeybee adapted to the threat posed by the hornet?