Video: Savannah sees first of invasive hornet species in open US
JASPER COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – A yellow-legged hornet was trapped in Jasper County earlier this month, marking the state’s first detection of the invasive species, Clemson University officials announced Tuesday.
In early August, the first yellow-legged hornet’s nest in the United States was discovered in Savannah, Georgia, located about 35 miles south of Jasper County. A month later, a second hornet’s nest was found in the Savannah area.
Both nests were destroyed.
Now, Clemson University officials, who are tasked with protecting the state’s beekeeping industry, are asking anyone who suspects they’ve spotted a yellow-legged hornet to report it online at clemson.edu.
It’s unclear whether the hornets have nested in South Carolina but Jasper County’s proximity to Savannah is giving officials cause for concern.
According to Clemson University, the Department of Plant Industry will increase its trapping efforts in the area and work with federal officials to confirm suspected specimens.
“The yellow-legged hornet is a predatory insect that has been reported to attack western honeybee colonies and has become a serious pest of beekeeping operations where it has been introduced,” said Ben Powell, who directs Clemson Cooperative Extension’s Apiary and Pollinator program. “Establishment of this exotic pest in the U.S. would pose a significant threat to our already embattled beekeeping enterprises.”
The yellow-legged hornet is native to tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia and has established itself in most of Europe and parts of the Middle East and Asia.
To report sightings in Georgia, visit here.