Episode 10

Ep. 10. Murder Hornet 'Slaughter Phase' and Plant Guttation

The Asian Giant Hornet is one of the many plagues that's hit us in 2020; but as fall approaches, it's thought they will enter the slaughter phase, when they can take out an entire bee hive within hours. Fortunately for us in Texas, recent models suggest that the the Asian Giant Hornet won't establish in Texas due to our suboptimal climate (and because they take "Don't mess with Texas" seriously).

We also discuss new findings on the importance of plant guttation as a nutritional resource for insects and the potential implications for systemic insecticides.


Matsuura, M., and S. F. Sakagami. 1973. A bionomic sketch of the giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, a serious pest for Japanese apiculture. 北海道大學理學部紀要. 19: 125–162.

University of Melbourne. 2020. 'Insect Armageddon': Low doses of the insecticide, Imidacloprid, cause blindness in insects: Findings show even small doses of insecticides reduce capacity of insects to survive. ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 September 2020. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200928152916.htm>.

Urbaneja-Bernat, P., A. Tena, J. González-Cabrera, and C. Rodriguez-Saona. 2020. Plant guttation provides nutrient-rich food for insects. Proceedings. Biol. Sci. 287: 20201080.

Zhu, G., J. Gutierrez Illan, C. Looney, and D. W. Crowder. 2020. Assessing the ecological niche and invasion potential of the Asian giant hornet. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 0: 202011441.

About the Podcast

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Jolly Green Scientists
Digesting scientific research relevant to the green industry

About your hosts

Profile picture for Erfan Vafaie

Erfan Vafaie

I'm an entomologist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, based out of Overton, Texas (U.S.A.). I conduct research and educational programming on integrative pest management of ornamental and nursery crops, working mainly with producers and other green industry professionals. My online 'pseudonym' is the SixLeggedAggie.
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Vikram Baliga

I'm the manager of the University Teaching and Research Greenhouse and Horticultural Gardens at Texas Tech University. I also serve as an instructor of horticulture in the Department of Plant and Soil Science and I'm a long-time and active science communicator. I'm also a thunderous plant nerd.