Local Expert Says Murder Hornets 'Not Likely' In Chicago; But 'Cicada Killer Hornets' Are


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Asian Giant Hornet has made its way to the United States--to Washington state, specifically--and raising concerns as it threatens to make short work of beehives.

Asian giant hornets can grow to more than two inches long and are sometimes called "murder hornets." They invade beehives and can kill tens of thousands of bees in a few hours and could be a threat to agriculture.  They can kill humans too, but it’s rare.  

Doug Taron, the chief curator of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, said that if the invasive species is not eradicated, it could have profound implications on agriculture.

"A lot of these beehives are trucked around the country and used to help pollinate different types of orchards. So, there are more broad implications for agriculture with the establishment of the new bee pest."  

Taron said the cicada killer hornet looks ferocious, but "it’s kind of a wimp, actually. They're not very aggressive."

He said the cicada killer "catches cicadas and drags them back to their nests where their young can feed on."