For the first time, Asian giant hornets, often referred to as the “murder hornet,” have appeared in the United States, TheNew York Times reported Saturday. Beekeepers in Washington state have already seen the hornet wipe out bee colonies within hours during their “slaughter phase”—devastating long-established beehives, the report states. The hornets are so powerful they have stingers that are long enough to puncture beekeeping suits, putting both the bees and their keepers in danger. The Washington State Department of Agriculture has verified four sightings of the hornet since December. “This is our window to keep it from establishing,” Washington state entomologist Chris Looney told the Times. In Japan, 50 people per year die after coming into contact with the hornets.