The Way Japanese Bees Kill Murder Hornets is Terrifying and Impressive

A new video has surfaced across social media showing Japanese honeybees killing 'murder hornets,' in a slightly terrifying way.

In a video posted by Twitter user Brandon Morse, the murder hornets, officially known as Asian giant hornets, are shown being lured into honeybee hive. After entering the hive, the hornet attacks one honeybee, sparking the rest of the hive to attack the hornet. While the hornets may be much bigger in size compared to the Japanese honeybees, the large number of bees in the hive allows them to gain the advantage and defeat the hornet.

"The way Japanese bees deal with murder hornets is just brutal but satisfying," Morse wrote as a caption to the video. It is unknown where the video orginated, though Morse pointed Newsweek to a YouTube video that someone shared on Reddit. However, the video gives no indicators of where the footage came from.

The way Japanese bees deal with murder hornets is just brutal but satisfying.

— President-Elect Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) May 5, 2020

Murder hornets can grow up to 2 inches in length, experts say, which is over two times the size of the hornet species usually found in North America. The hornets also have a very powerful stinger filled with deadly venom, which causes an average of 30 to 50 deaths each year in Japan, according to National Geographic.

Despite the hornet's large size, deadly stinger and terrifying name, some other insects, like the honeybees in the video, have developed an "ambush defense," to combat the hornets, according to Katy Prudic, an associate professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Arizona.

"Japanese honeybees have evolved an ambush defense against these hornets. When a hornet scout finds a honeybee hive, the honeybees lure her in, then collectively pounce on the hornet, beating their wings as much as they can," Prudic said during a recent conversation published by the University of Arizona News. "This flurry attack raises the temperature around the hornet, eventually killing her and a few of the honeybees closest to her. The hive will remain undiscovered to the hornet colony and live to see another day."

The video comes as the planet's largest hornets were sighted in the U.S. for the first time ever. According to the Washington Department of Agriculture, there have been four sightings of the hornets in North America, with two in Blaine, Washington and two others in British Columbia, Canada.

On Saturday, the New York Times published a report about the hornet's unusual migration to the U.S., sparking concern among Americans.

Asian Giant Hornet
An Asian hornet (Vespa velutina) flies on September 14, 2019 in Loue, northwestern France Jean-Francois Monier/Getty

Prudic noted that while the ambush defense is used by Japanese honeybees, "this adaptation is not seen in European honeybees, which are common domesticated pollinators used in our agriculture system."

"So, if this hornet becomes a pest, we might have to figure out a way to get them to behave more like a Japanese honeybee through some sort of genetic modification," Prudic added.