Fresh Take

Asian Giant Hornet - Murder Hornet

June 08, 2020 Florida Certified Organic Growers & Consumers, INC.
Fresh Take
Asian Giant Hornet - Murder Hornet
Show Notes

Welcome Amy Vu and Dr. JC Rodriguez! We discuss the Asian Giant Hornet “murder hornet” with Amy, Extension coordinator for the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab (HBREL) @ UF, and Dr. JC Rodriguez, appreciated member of our staff. 

Amy and JC are both passionate about bees, both started their bee keeping journey during college. JC shares with us his experience handling Africanized “killer” bees, and the bad reputation around these bees and any other bees named “killer” or “murder.”

It is important to emphasize that everyone will experience a different reaction to any insect. The safest is to keep your distance form any stinging insect. 

Amy shares about two (2) types of Asian hornets

(1)    Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia): Also known as “murder hornet”

(2)    Asian hornet (Vespa velutina):  NOT present in the USA

Asian giant hornet first appearance was at the end of 2019. A press release was issued to report on the findings on a small area of Washington State. During the moths of March/April, coming out of the winter, 2 species were found dead.

No one is 100% sure on how this specie reached the continental US, but it is believed that a queen bee was transported by a cargo ship. 

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has put compiled comprehensive material on the Giant Asian Hornet, how to identify it and its differences from other similar looking hornets. 

The Asian Giant Hornet preys on more insects than just honey bees, this kind of hornet can cause harm to other pollinators as well. 

Please, keep a safe distance form any stinging insect. Snap a picture if possible, that is the best proof to identify species. 

Visit the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab website to learn more about Amy Vu and the Research Lab!

For more information on this topic, check out this document by the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory FAQs - Asian Giant Hornet. 

Interested in bees and managed honey bees? Check out our episode SAVE THE BEES, with Dr. Jamie Ellis from the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory! 
Image Credits:By Alpsdake - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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