Last year had plenty of surprises, but one almost no one saw coming was the spread of so-called "Murder Hornets" around teh world." A new upcoming Discovery+ documentary is exploring that turn of events. Attack of the Murder Hornets investigates how the the Asian Giant Hornet, which first appeared in the United States in late 2019 and grew in popularity into 2020, spread and infiltrated various communities. The new documentary, released under the streaming service's "Undiscovered" brand, hails from Best Worst Movie and The American Scream director Michael Paul Stephenson and debuts today, and February 20th. Check out Discovery+ now to watch.
Per a press release, "In November 2019, beekeeper Ted McFall was horrified to discover his strong colony of 60,000 honeybees had been mysteriously decimated- honeybees beheaded and their hive wiped clean. He had no clue as to what kind of creature was behind the carnage, until a looming threat provided him the answer: the Asian Giant Hornet. This dangerous, new, and invasive species has made headlines across the nation since its arrival in the U.S., specifically the Pacific Northwest, where the first nest was discovered in Blaine, Washington. The all-new feature documentary, Attack of the Murder Hornets, by filmmaker Michael Paul Stephenson (Best Worst Movie, The American Scream) launching February 20th on discovery+, centers on a concerned crew of beekeepers and scientists who must work together to protect their quiet Washington community from the threat of the Asian Giant Hornet, known famously today as the 'Murder Hornet.' The documentary is part of Discovery's 'Undiscovered,' the Discovery documentary strand that explores some of our greatest mysteries, potentially rewriting the history books along the way.
"The international phenomenon of the hornet first struck the nation with ferocity and destructive force last year, as scientists quickly discovered detrimental impacts on other species, such as honeybees. 'Murder Hornets' use their enormous mandibles to behead every honeybee they catch; a single hornet can behead 20 bees a minute, and a small group of hornets can destroy a hive of 30,000 bees in just 90 minutes. The danger of the hornet in the U.S. threatens our fragile food supply, putting the livelihood of honeybees -- the world's most important pollinator of food crops -- at risk. A threat to a honeybee is a threat to all of us.
"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 elusive 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."
Check out Attack of the Murder Hornets on discovery+ on February 20th.
Will you be tuning into the documentary? Let us know in the comments below!