Expert With NYPD Beekeeping Unit Explains How Honeybees Can 'Cook' Dreaded Murder Hornet To Death

The dreaded "murder hornet" is no match for a nest full of motivated honeybees, an expert with the New York Police Department's beekeeping unit explains.

Officer Darren Mays, who works with a beekeeping unit in the city's police department, told a PIX11 reporter that his department is preparing for the possible invasion of the Asian giant hornet, which has become commonly known as the "murder hornet" for its unusual size and debilitating sting. Though the hornet has the ability to kill honeybees en masse, Mays explained that Japanese honeybees have developed a defense that kills the much larger insect.

Mays said the bees trick the hornet to come into their nest, then surround it and "cook" the hornet with fast movements that "ball 'em and cook 'em and raise the body temperature... just enough to kill and cook the hornet."

There have been many reports this week about the murder hornet arriving in the United States, with fears that the invasive species could wreak havoc on local ecosystems and pose a threat to people. As The Inquisitr reported, some beekeepers have found devastation as the hornets have killed thousands of honeybees after invading the nests.

As USA Today reported, honeybees in the United States have not developed the same defense mechanism as the Japanese honeybee, so local officials are trying to track the spread of the hornet and trap the predators. There are warnings that these hornets could be devastating if they spread across the United States. Susan Cobey, who works as a bee breeder with Washington State University's Department of Entomology, told WSU Insider that 1.5 to 2-inch size hornets are "like something out of a monster cartoon with this huge yellow-orange face."

Those who have been stung by the murder hornet have described suffering debilitating pain and body-wide symptoms. One beekeeper told CBS News that a sting he received led to body aches similar to those brought on by the flu and the most pain he had ever felt. Experts warn that several stings can result in death, even among people who are not allergic to the hornets.

The NYPD is preparing for the possibility that the hornet could make its way to the nation's largest city, with Mays telling people to stay away from them if they are seen. The city's beekeeping unit includes officers who respond to swarms, often removing large swarms from public places around the city.