With “astronaut” protective suits against killer hornets in the USA


  • AFP

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    Done. Around 200 killer hornets could be sucked out of a nest.

  • AFP

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    The experts didn’t want to leave anything to chance.

  • Keystone

    3/17

    They wore extreme protective suits and looked like astronauts about to go on a mission to the moon.

  • AFP

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    Now the tree is to be felled to ensure that every hornet has been caught.

  • AFP

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    The researchers assume that there are other nests nearby. With such traps they catch hornets that are supposed to lead there.

Hornet protective suits are characterized by several layers – one of which is made of foam. This prevents the hornet’s sting from penetrating through the material into the person’s body. But on their recent mission to Blaine, Washington state, none of the entomologists would have dared to go into the forest wearing ordinary hornet protective clothing. There they had discovered a nest full of so-called killer hornets.

The beasts come from Asia and, with a length of up to 5.5 centimeters, are around five times larger than western bees. And they’re deadly. With their up to six millimeters long spines, the hornets can also fall prey to people who wear thick protective overalls.

The entomologists got into protective suits and put on protective masks. They looked like they were about to go on a moon mission. Dressed like astronauts and equipped with a kind of vacuum cleaner, they put an end to the giant insects. The hornets were quickly sucked from the tree and caught in canisters. The researchers were able to get around 200 of the animals out of the tree.

Hornet with transmitter led to the nest

It is unclear how the hornets found in eastern and southeastern Asia found their way to the United States. The insects are spotted there again and again. But the nest, which was about the size of a basketball, is said to be the first “vespa mandarinia” nest found in the USA.

The critters with a wingspan of almost eight centimeters are not only dangerous to humans, they are also a dreaded pest that hunts honey bees and can thus cause great damage in agriculture.

To find the nest, the scientists attached tiny tracking transmitters to three captured hornets. One led to the nest on Thursday. Early on Saturday morning, the researchers went to the day. “They have,” reported the responsible authorities on Twitter. “Sucked several Asian giant hornets from a tree hole.”

The tree is to be felled in order to extract any larvae and newborn hornets – and to find out whether all the queens went into the containers. (kes)

Published: 10/26/2020, 2:50 a.m.

Last updated: 10/26/2020, 3:00 a.m.


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