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亚洲“杀人大黄蜂”入侵美国

‘Murder Hornets’ in the U.S.: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet
亚洲“杀人大黄蜂”入侵美国

BLAINE, Wash. — In his decades of beekeeping, Ted McFall had never seen anything like it.

华盛顿州布莱恩——在数十年的养蜂生涯中,泰德·麦克福尔(Ted McFall)从未看到过这样的情况。

As he pulled his truck up to check on a group of hives near Custer, Wash., in November, he could spot from the window a mess of bee carcasses on the ground. As he looked closer, he saw a pile of dead members of the colony in front of a hive and more carnage inside — thousands and thousands of bees with their heads torn from their bodies and no sign of a culprit.

去年11月,他开着卡车去华盛顿州卡斯特附近查看他的一组蜂箱时,从车窗里就能看到地上有成群的死蜜蜂。等他靠近时,他在一个蜂箱前看到了一大堆死了的蜂群成员,蜂箱内还有更多的死蜜蜂——成千上万的蜜蜂头和身体被撕裂,但看不出是什么东西杀死了蜜蜂。

“I couldn’t wrap my head around what could have done that,” Mr. McFall said.

“是什么东西制造了这种结果,我一点也想象不出来,”麦克福尔说。
 

华盛顿州布莱恩,昆虫学家克里斯·鲁尼的夹克上有一只死掉的亚洲大黄蜂。这种蜂的蜂王能长到五厘米长,它们能在数小时内消灭一个蜂箱。

Only later did he come to suspect that the killer was what some researchers simply call the “murder hornet.”

直到后来,他才怀疑凶手是一些研究人员称之为“杀人大黄蜂”的东西。

With queens that can grow to two inches long, Asian giant hornets can use mandibles shaped like spiked shark fins to wipe out a honeybee hive in a matter of hours, decapitating the bees and flying away with the thoraxes to feed their young. For larger targets, the hornet’s potent venom and stinger — long enough to puncture a beekeeping suit — make for an excruciating combination that victims have likened to hot metal driving into their skin.

这种名为“亚洲大黄蜂”的蜂王能长到五厘米长,工蜂能用像尖尖的鲨鱼翅那样的上颌在几小时内消灭一个蜂箱,将里面的蜜蜂斩首,然后携带着蜜蜂胸部飞走,去喂它们的后代。大黄蜂对付更大目标的办法是使用强大的毒液和螫针——螫针的长度足以刺穿养蜂服,这个组合让被螫者极为痛苦,受害者描述那就像滚烫的金属刺进皮肤。

In Japan, the hornets kill up to 50 people a year. Now, for the first time, they have arrived in the United States.

在日本,每年被大黄蜂螫死者多达50人。现在,这种大黄蜂第一次来到了美国。

Mr. McFall still is not certain that Asian giant hornets were responsible for the plunder of his hive. But two of the predatory insects were discovered last fall in the northwest corner of Washington State, a few miles north of his property — the first sightings in the United States.

麦克福尔仍不确定亚洲大黄蜂是罪魁祸首。但人们已在去年秋天在华盛顿州的西北角,也就是他家以北几英里的地方,发现了两只这种掠食性的昆虫,这是在美国首次看到它们。

Scientists have since embarked on a full-scale hunt for the hornets, worried that the invaders could decimate bee populations in the United States and establish such a deep presence that all hope for eradication could be lost.

从那时起,科学家已开始了对大黄蜂进行全面捕杀,他们担心这些入侵者可能会杀死大量的美国蜜蜂,并在美国建立起强大的立足点,让消灭它们的希望彻底落空。

“This is our window to keep it from establishing,” said Chris Looney, an entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture. “If we can’t do it in the next couple of years, it probably can’t be done.”

“这是我们阻止大黄蜂在这里立足的一线机会,”华盛顿州农业部的昆虫学家克里斯·鲁尼(Chris Looney)说。“如果我们不能在未来两年内做到这点,就可能无法阻止它们了。”

On a cold morning in early December, two and a half miles to the north of Mr. McFall’s property, Jeff Kornelis stepped on his front porch with his terrier-mix dog. He looked down to a jarring sight: “It was the biggest hornet I’d ever seen.”

去年12月初的一个寒冷的早晨,在麦克福尔家以北四公里的地方,杰夫·科尔内利斯(Jeff Kornelis)带着他的混种猎犬踏上自家的前廊。他低头看到了一幅令人震惊的景象:“这是我见过的最大的大黄蜂。”

The insect was dead, and after inspecting it, Mr. Kornelis had a hunch that it might be an Asian giant hornet. It did not make much sense, given his location in the world, but he had seen an episode of the YouTube personality Coyote Peterson getting a brutal sting from one of the hornets.

这只昆虫已死,对其进行了仔细检查后,科尔内利斯凭直觉认为,这可能是一只亚洲大黄蜂。考虑到他家在世界上的地理位置,这有点不可思议,但他看过YouTube名人凯奥特·彼特森(Coyote Peterson)的一段被一只大黄蜂狠狠螫了一下的视频。

Beyond its size, the hornet has a distinctive look, with a cartoonishly fierce face featuring teardrop eyes like Spider-Man, orange and black stripes that extend down its body like a tiger, and broad, wispy wings like a small dragonfly.

除了个头大外,这种大黄蜂的样子也很独特,它有像卡通那样凶狠的面孔,眼睛与蜘蛛侠眼泪形状的眼睛一样,身上有老虎那种橙色和黑色的条纹,还有像小蜻蜓那样宽大、纤细的翅膀。

Mr. Kornelis contacted the state, which came out to confirm that it was indeed an Asian giant hornet. Soon after, they learned that a local beekeeper in the area had also found one of the hornets.
科尔内利斯与州政府进行了联系,政府派来的人证实了那确实是一只亚洲大黄蜂。不久后,他们得知当地的一位养蜂人也发现了一只大黄蜂。
Dr. Looney said it was immediately clear that the state faced a serious problem, but with only two insects in hand and winter coming on, it was nearly impossible to determine how much the hornet had already made itself at home.

鲁尼说,大家马上知道,华盛顿州面临着一个严重的问题,但只看到了两只昆虫,冬天又快到了,这让确定这种大黄蜂已在当地立足的程度变得几乎不可能。

Over the winter, state agriculture biologists and local beekeepers got to work, preparing for the coming season. Ruthie Danielsen, a beekeeper who has helped organize her peers to combat the hornet, unfurled a map across the hood of her vehicle, noting the places across Whatcom County where beekeepers have placed traps.

整个冬天,该州的农业生物学家和当地养蜂人都在为即将到来的季节做准备工作。帮助组织同行与大黄蜂做斗争的养蜂人露丝·丹妮尔森(Ruthie Danielsen)在自汽车的引擎盖上铺开一张地图,上面标出了霍特科姆县各地的养蜂人设置了捕蜂器的地方。

“Most people are scared to get stung by them,” Ms. Danielsen said. “We’re scared that they are going to totally destroy our hives.”

“大多数人都害怕被它们螫,”丹妮尔森说。“我们担心它们会彻底毁掉我们的蜂箱。”

Adding to the uncertainty — and mystery — were some other discoveries of the Asian giant hornet across the border in Canada.

在边境另一侧的加拿大,也发现了一些亚洲大黄蜂,这增加了问题的不确定性和神秘性。

In November, a single hornet was seen in White Rock, British Columbia, perhaps 10 miles away from the discoveries in Washington State — likely too far for the hornets to be part of the same colony. Even earlier, there had been a hive discovered on Vancouver Island, across a strait that probably was too wide for a hornet to have crossed from the mainland.

11月,在不列颠哥伦比亚省的怀特罗克发现了一只大黄蜂。这里距离华盛顿州发现大黄蜂的地方有一二十公里远——这样遥远的距离说明它们不太可能是来自同一蜂群。甚至更早以前,在海峡另一侧的温哥华岛上发现了一个蜂巢,从大陆跨越这样宽的海峡对于大黄蜂来说不太可能。

Crews were able to track down the hive on Vancouver Island. Conrad Bérubé, a beekeeper and entomologist in the town of Nanaimo, was assigned to exterminate it.

工作人员在温哥华岛上追踪到了蜂巢。纳奈莫镇的养蜂人和昆虫学家康莱德·贝鲁布(Conrad Bérubé)接到了消灭它的任务。

He set out at night, when the hornets would be in their nest. He put on shorts and thick sweatpants, then his bee suit. He donned Kevlar braces on his ankles and wrists.

他在晚上出发,那时大黄蜂会在巢中。他穿上短裤和厚厚的运动裤,然后穿上连体防蜂服。他在脚踝和手腕处戴上护具。

But as he approached the hive, he said, the rustling of the brush and the shine of his flashlight awakened the colony. Before he had a chance to douse the nest with carbon dioxide, he felt the first searing stabs in his leg — through the bee suit and underlying sweatpants.

他说,但接近蜂巢时,刷子的沙沙作响和手电的亮光把蜂群弄醒了。他还没来得及使出二氧化碳,就已经第一次感觉到腿上灼烧的刺痛——透过防蜂服和里面的运动裤。

“It was like having red-hot thumbtacks being driven into my flesh,” he said. He ended up getting stung at least seven times, some of the stings drawing blood.

他说:“就像把烧红的图钉扎进我的肉里一样。”他至少被蜇了七次,有些还带出了血。

Jun-ichi Takahashi, a researcher at Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan, said the species had earned the “murder hornet” nickname there because its aggressive group attacks can expose victims to doses of toxic venom equivalent to that of a venomous snake; a series of stings can be fatal.

日本京都产业大学(Kyoto Sangyo University)的研究员高桥纯一(Jun-ichi Takahashi)说,该物种在日本获得了“杀人蜂”的绰号,因为其凶猛的集体攻击可使受害者暴露于与毒蛇相同剂量的毒液中;一系列的刺伤可能致命。

The night he got stung, Mr. Bérubé still managed to eliminate the nest and collect samples, but the next day, his legs were aching, as if he had the flu. Of the thousands of times he has been stung in his lifetime of work, he said, the Asian giant hornet stings were the most painful.

贝鲁布被刺伤的那晚,他还是设法清除了蜂巢并收集了样本,但是第二天,他的腿酸痛起来,就像得了流感。他说,在他被蜇过数千次的工作生涯中,亚洲大黄蜂是最痛苦的。

After collecting the hornet in the Blaine area, state officials took off part of a leg and shipped it to an expert in Japan. A sample from the Nanaimo nest was sent as well.

在布莱恩地区收集到大黄蜂后,州官员取下大黄蜂的部分腿部,送到日本的一名专家手中。同时送去的,还有纳奈莫的蜂巢中的样本。

A genetic examination, concluded over the past few weeks, determined that the nest in Nanaimo and the hornet near Blaine were not connected, said Telissa Wilson, a state pest biologist, meaning there had probably been at least two different introductions in the region.

州害虫学家泰莉莎·威尔逊(Telissa Wilson)说,过去几周完成的基因检查确定了纳奈莫的蜂巢和布莱恩附近的大黄蜂之间没有联系,这意味着该地区可能有两拨不同的大黄蜂。

Dr. Looney went out on a recent day in Blaine, carrying clear jugs that had been made into makeshift traps; typical wasp and bee traps available for purchase have holes too small for the Asian giant hornet. He filled some with orange juice mixed with rice wine, others had kefir mixed with water, and a third batch was filled with some experimental lures — all with the hope of catching a queen emerging to look for a place to build a nest.

不久前的一天,在布莱恩,鲁尼拿着透明的水罐出去,这些水罐被做成临时的捕蜂器;市面上常见的那种黄蜂和蜜蜂捕蜂器的孔对于亚洲巨型大黄蜂来说太小了。他把橙汁和米酒混合后倒在罐子里,在另一些则倒入混了水的牛奶酒,而第三批则倒入一些实验诱饵——所有这些都是为了能抓住一个出来寻找地方筑巢的蜂王。

He hung them from trees, geo-tagging each location with his phone.

他将它们挂在树上,并用手机对每个地点进行地理标记。

In a region with extensive wooded habitats for hornets to establish homes, the task of finding and eliminating them is daunting. How to find dens that may be hidden underground? And where to look, given that one of the queens can fly many miles a day, at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour?

在一个拥有大量繁茂树林生态供大黄蜂筑巢的地区,寻找并消灭它们是一个艰巨的任务。如何找到可能隐藏在地下的巢穴?而且考虑到蜂王每天可以高达20英里的时速飞出数英里,这要上哪找呢?

The miles of wooded landscapes and mild, wet climate of western Washington State makes for an ideal location for the hornets to spread.

华盛顿州西部树木繁茂的地形以及温和潮湿的气候,为大黄蜂的扩散提供了理想的地点。

In the coming months, Mr. Looney said, he and others plan to place hundreds more traps. State officials have mapped out the plan in a grid, starting in Blaine and moving outward.

鲁尼说,在接下来的几个月,他和其他人计划再放置数百个捕蜂器。州官员规划了以布莱恩为起点,以网格形式向外的计划。

The buzz of activity inside a nest of Asian giant hornets can keep the inside temperature up to 86 degrees, so the trackers are also exploring using thermal imaging to examine the forest floors. Later, they may also try other advanced tools that could track the signature hum the hornets make in flight.

亚洲大黄蜂在巢内的繁忙飞舞可将内部温度保持在华氏86度,因此追踪者也正在探索使用热成像技术来检测森林地表。以后,他们还可以尝试其他先进工具来跟踪大黄蜂在飞行中发出的独特的嗡嗡声。

If a hornet does get caught in a trap, Dr. Looney said, there are plans to possibly use radio-frequency identification tags to monitor where it goes — or simply attach a small streamer and then follow the hornet as it returns to its nest.

鲁尼说,一旦大黄蜂困在捕蜂器里,他们计划有可能使用射频识别标签来监视它的去向——或者,简单地附上一个小的彩条,然后跟着它回到蜂巢。

While most bees would be unable to fly with a disruptive marker attached, that is not the case with the Asian giant hornet. It is big enough to handle the extra load.

尽管大多数蜜蜂在附着破坏性标记的情况下都无法飞行,但亚洲大黄蜂不会。它大到足以应付额外的负载。
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