BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Asian Giant Hornet, also known as the “murder hornet,” is nowhere near Maryland yet, entomologists say.

WJZ viewers have sent in several photos and videos of hornets they suspect may be murder hornets.

University of Maryland Entomologist Dr. Michael Raupp said all the pictures we showed him are actually European Hornets.

“[European Hornets have] been in our country for more than a century. They look pretty ferocious, but they’re pretty docile,” Raupp said. “They pose no particular threat to our honeybee population or our homeowner.”

Raupp says by “natural spread,” the Asian Giant Hornet is still years or decades away from reaching Maryland. So far, only one colony has been found—and destroyed—in North America, according to Raupp, with a few detections in Washington State.

“If we find it over here, it’d be good to know right up front, but I don’t think you have to worry about this one for quite a while,” Raupp said.

The “murder hornets” pose a lethal threat to bee colonies and have killed humans, although that is incredibly rare.

“It’s absolutely critical right now, for beekeepers in particular, because they pose a major threat to our European honeybees,” Raupp said. “We’ve got enough on our plates to worry about right now. We don’t have to worry about the murder hornets. They are 3,000 miles away.”

To learn more, go to Dr. Raupp’s blog by clicking here.

Paul Gessler

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