Experts say Murder Hornet is not currently in the Natural state

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Has the Murder Hornet made its way to the Natural State? Experts say that’s unlikely.

“As if we need one more thing to worry about right now,” said Jon Zawislak, Honey Bee Specialist at University of Arkansas.​

Giant Asian Hornets, dubbed by many as Murder Hornets, are now in the United States.​

The potentially deadly species was recently found in Washington State for the first time.​

“Its the largest hornet in the world, they can get up to two inches long and I imagine the sting packs quite a punch,” said Jon Zawislak.​

The hornets are known to attack bees and can quickly decimate entire hives.​

Jon Zawislak is a honey bee specialist for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.​

He’s been working with bees for 20 years and even has a dozen hives of his own.​

However, recently Zawislak has been getting dozens of calls about so-called spottings of Giant Asian Hornets in Arkansas.​

“They’ve taken pictures and submitted those pictures but everyone that I’ve looked at, its been the European Hornet,” said Zawislak.​

Here’s how to tell the Giant Asian Hornet from the European Hornet.​

“The Giant Asian Hornet has very bold stripes and it’s a little bit more orange in color from the photos I’ve seen. The European Hornet has yellow and black stripes and the stripes are a little more irregular,” said Zawislak.​

Zawislak said the Giant Asian Hornet’s venomous sting could possibly kill a human if they are stung several times.​

So will this hornet ever be in the natural state? Zawislak says it’s not likely.​

“They don’t like high altitude climates and the don’t like wide open plains. Of course, there’s some very large mountains and a very large plain between us and Washington state,” said Zawislak.​

Zawislak said the mountains and plains will act as a natural barrier.​

However, Zawislak said if the hornet ever does make its way to Arkansas, treat it as any other hornet or wasp.​

Use common sense, keep your distance, and don’t disturb the nests.​

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