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Florida has big hornets but not murder hornets, experts say

Asian hornets are the largest species of hornet

In this Dec. 30, 2019, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, a dead Asian giant hornet is photographed in a lab in Olympia, Wash. The world's largest hornet, a 2-inch long killer with an appetite for honey bees, has been found in Washington state and entomologists are making plans to wipe it out. Dubbed the "Murder Hornet" by some, the Asian giant hornet has a sting that could be fatal to some humans. (Quinlyn Baine/Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP)
In this Dec. 30, 2019, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, a dead Asian giant hornet is photographed in a lab in Olympia, Wash. The world's largest hornet, a 2-inch long killer with an appetite for honey bees, has been found in Washington state and entomologists are making plans to wipe it out. Dubbed the "Murder Hornet" by some, the Asian giant hornet has a sting that could be fatal to some humans. (Quinlyn Baine/Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP) (Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP)

Recently, headlines were buzzing throughout Florida about the murder hornet.

Those who were already avoiding bees at all costs were extra wary of the giant hornets from Asia.

Well, after reviewing several sites in Florida, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has confirmed that there is no evidence to support that murder hornets are present anywhere in Florida.

“With reports of suspected Asian giant hornet sightings in Florida, our department and the USDA have confirmed that there is no evidence of this species in Florida,” Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said. “Our partners at the Washington State Department of Agriculture and the USDA are continuing to study and contain the Asian giant hornet to Washington state. We have every reason to believe that these ongoing efforts will keep this invasive pest far away from Florida’s residents and 650,000 honeybee colonies.”

Reports of Asian giant hornets are often cases of misidentification, as they bear a close resemblance to native hornet and wasp species in Florida, officials said.

Residents are encouraged to consult the FDACS Asian Giant Hornet Quick Guide as a reference to identify this invasive species accurately:

Giant Hornet Graph
Giant Hornet Graph

Asian giant hornets are the world’s largest species of hornet.

In December 2019, the Washington State Department of Agriculture confirmed the detection of several individual Asian giant hornets.

Canada also confirmed sightings of the species in two locations in British Columbia.


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