Vancouver Island — An invasive species of Asian giant hornet has been making the headlines this week as the latest threat in what seems like a barrage of bad news on social media and in the mainstream media.
Last fall, reports arrived from Washington State and as far north as Vancouver Island, B.C., that the large hornets’ nests had been discovered by local beekeepers in the area.
The hornets have received the unnerving nickname of “murder hornets” after several videos showed a gang of large hornets decimating a honeybee hive. However, John Vespa, a legal representative of the Asian giant hornet community, says that these claims that his clients are cold-blooded killers are nonsense.
“These nicknames originated from a backlash on social media and do not represent the species, nor the incident, whatsoever. These hornets were not trying to kill those honeybees. They got all hopped up on honey and things got a little out of hand. This was just bees being bees. Nobody expected anyone to be harmed.
“This was a roughhousing accident that unfortunately ended badly for the smaller insects,” continued Vespa outside his law office on Monday. “The intent to murder was not present at the time nor was it a forethought of my clients.”
Despite this, videos can be found on YouTube depicting the incident. The videos soon went viral, and several groups have been calling for the eradication of all Asian giant hornet nests.
“Manslaughter? Are you kidding me? These ruthless thugs literally killed 30,000 honeybees by decapitating them,” said Vancouver Island resident Tammy Blair.
“And their attorney is trying to say that it was an accident? I don’t care how much honey you’re on — that is just barbaric!”
Attorney John Vespa said he will seek the manslaughter charge for all giant hornets involved in the incident when the case goes to the Supreme Court of Canada this summer.