Murder hornet threat to humans may have been 'drastically overblown', experts claim – but bees are still in danger
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If there wasn’t enough to worry about, murder hornets were reportedly spotted for the first time in the USA in April.

They’re two inches long – which is big for an insect – and can kill humans with their venom in extreme cases.While they’re originally found in China, Korea and Japan, these murder hornets were reportedly spotted in the US for the first time ever.

But while reports of the hornets being found in the USA are true, entomologists have said that the idea of a widespread invasion is mistaken, at least for the time being.

According to Business Insider, in September 2019, scientists from the UC Riverside Entomology Research Museum at the University of California went to Vancouver Island, where a nest of hornets had been spotted. A few months later, someone in Seattle, Washington, reported that they had seen a dead hornet and another one which had flown away.

Doug Yanega, a senior scientist at the museum, said:

It really only pertains to the immediate vicinity of Vancouver Island and the adjacent parts of Washington, which are places like Blaine, maybe, in a worst-case scenario, as far as South Bellingham, which is still the extreme northwest corner of the US.

Yanega and other researchers, as well as a team from the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection service, are working to eradicate the population of hornets and have asked local residents to keep their eyes peeled for any more sightings. Since the initial report in Blaine, a town in Washington, local residents haven’t found a nest or a live hornet.

The way that the hornets made their way over to the US is still not clear, but Yanega suggested to Business Insider that they may have latched onto a cargo ship and travelled with it.

Entomologists are more worried about the impact that this hornet could have on honeybee populations, and have told beekeepers in Washington to keep an eye out.

But there are other insects which are widespread in the US – such as mosquitoes – which are more dangerous, and which people have a far greater chance of coming into contact with.

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