As if the coronavirus pandemic wasn’t enough to deal with last year, the United States also had to confront the threat of a potential invasion of murder hornets. While that might sound like the premise of a B-movie from the 1950s, it was a very worrisome situation when these bee-slaughtering insects typically found in Japan were suddenly spotted in America. It’s a fascinating subject for Discovery+ to cover in a new documentary called Attack of the Murder Hornets, and we have an exclusive clip for you to watch.
Attack of the Murder Hornets Clip
In our exclusive Attack of the Murder Hornets clip, New York Times reporter Mike Baker recalls researching the Asian Giant Hornet when the first stories of their arrival in the US emerged in the spring. Though “murder hornets” became the name that stuck when these bugs made headlines across the country, Baker also heard it referred to as the “yak killer.” Baker was never able to track down exactly where that came from, but then he stumbled upon the more common name in Japan, and “murder hornet” became one of the most terrifying phrases of 2020.
From there, the clip dives into a variety of news clips and coverage showing off the insect that threatened to spread across the United States if scientists weren’t able to find their nests in Washington state. And in case you didn’t get to see it last year, there’s plenty of horrifying footage of this hornet tearing bees apart. You’ll see quickly how these things can behead 20 bees in a minute. In fact, a small group of hornets can destroy a hive of 30,000 bees in just 90 minutes.
Attack of the Murder Hornets comes from director Michael Paul (Best Worst Movie, The American Scream) and is available right now on the new streaming service discovery+. It’s part of Discovery’s Undiscovered documentary series with films that explore various mysteries from throughout history.
Here’s the official synopsis for Attack of the Murder Hornets:
In a state of distress while also in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chris Looney, entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture sets out on a mission to track down the hornets. He is joined by experts and bee enthusiasts alike, including beekeepers Ted McFall and Ruthie Danielsen, Sven-Erik Spichiger, government insect-expert, and Conrad Bérubé, the first person to destroy a Murder Hornet nest in North America. In an effort to stop the spread of the invasive species in the U.S., the team must band together to track down a nest before the queens inside can escape to start their own colonies. In October 2020, camera crews followed the team of passionate beekeepers and scientists on a hunt that lead to the historical discovery of the first Asian Giant Hornet nest in America- crawling with hundreds of “Murder Hornet” offspring.
How does one take down an apex-predator whose sting is strong enough to kill a human? As the largest species of wasps on the planet, the goal is to eradicate the “Murder Hornet” while the population is presumably small in the U.S. Harmful to agriculture and the pollination that honeybees do for our food supply, the small-town crew faces difficult odds in their hunt for the hornet by setting traps, tracking the hornets, and following any tips that may lead them to the queen.
With new challenges at every turn – including the pressing hurdles to find the illusive queen hornet in the unforgiving forests of the Pacific Northwest – the race to the nest is a critical mission before the breeding season begins and the sanctity of farming and agriculture is destroyed.
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