This is interesting.
Giant myths about giant hornets
Since the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) was first detected in Washington State in December of 2019, it has been hard to miss the eye-catching headlines about this species. With so much news out there, we wanted to break down the facts about this much-buzzed-about species:
• In North America, the Asian giant hornet (AGH) has only been found in a small area in Washington State and British Columbia. No AGH have been found anywhere else on the continent, including the east coast.
• NY's most common lookalike is the European hornet (Vespa crabro). AGH are 1-2 inches in length, and European hornets are 0.5-1.5 inches in length.
AGH do not attack humans unless:
o you handle one,
o you are within 10 feet of a nest, or
o you are approaching a beehive that they are attacking.
Their sting hurts a bit more than other hornets because they are bigger. Human deaths caused by AGH stings are extremely rare - about 12 per year worldwide (compared to about 60 deaths in just the U.S. each year from bee and hornet stings).
AGH do attack and destroy honeybee hives.
Our friends at NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) have more info available on their website: https://agriculture.ny.gov/
If you think you have found an Asian giant hornet in NY, please review the identification materials on the AGM website. If you still have suspicions after review, email photos and location information to AGM at [email protected].