In the past we have tried to keep our readers apprised of any developments in pest, pest news & even wild animal events. You may recall the past article on “murder hornets”, the abnormally large hornet from Africa that started showing up in the U.S. three years ago.
Today we have a story about a yellow-legged hornet which is new to our country. Our newest invasive species has been identified as Vespa velutina and it is native to Southeast Asia. It is a cousin to the “murder hornet” we mentioned above. The hornet has been spotted in Georgia this month.
Unfortunately for us, this hornet preys on honeybees. As you may already know, honeybees have been in decline in recent years to due to various factors including habitat loss and improper use of pesticides. The honeybee is one of our most important pollinators and we rely on it to keep our ecosystem going. The FDA has even said that the honeybee ads $15B+ to our crops.
“About one-third of the food eaten by Americans comes from crops pollinated by honey bees, including apples, melons, cranberries, pumpkins, squash, broccoli, and almonds,” the agency said.
While there are already hornets that prey on honeybees here in the U.S. (like the bald-faced hornet and the yellowjacket) the new yellow-legged hornet actually prefers the honeybee over other types of prey.
The Land-Grant Press said: “Most hornets prey on other insects’ larvae, and many species of hornets target nests of other social bees and wasp.”. They went on to say “Vespa are known as the ‘true hornets’ and are exceptional predators.”.
The alarm has already been sounded and now it is up to scientists and researchers to figure out how to stop the spread of this menace. We will keep our ear to the track and inform our readers of any further development on this matter.
image from aces.edu