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Yellow-legged hornet appears in US for first time

Courtesy: Georgia Department of Agriculture

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WISH) — The Georgia Department of Agriculture says the yellow-legged hornet has appeared in the U.S. for the first time.

According to the GDA, the yellow-legged pest poses a threat to honeybees and other pollinators. They are now working to track and eradicate the invasive pests.

According to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the public plays a role in helping get rid of the hornets.

The yellow-legged hornet is native to tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia. It’s generally smaller than the Northern Giant Hornet.

Yellow-legged hornets can be around half the size of an NGH, and queens can be 3/4 the size.

Its legs are partially or primarily yellow, hence the common name — “yellow-legged hornet.” The body and head coloration can vary.

The hornet is a social wasp species that constructs egg-shaped paper nests above the ground, often in trees. The nests can become large, housing an average of 6,000 workers.

The yellow-legged hornet feeds on a variety of insects.

If allowed to establish in the U.S., this invasive species could threaten honey production and Georgia’s native pollinators.

According to the GDA, the invasive pest has not been spotted anywhere else at this point.

Honey and other fruits are a big part of the economy of Georgia.

The threat of an invasive species could become a problem for pollinators. That’s why GDA is asking people to keep an eye out for the hornets and report them if seen.

The GDA notes there are several lookalikes here in the U.S., and it’s important to take a picture, if safe, and submit it for review.

Anyone interested in learning more about the yellow-legged hornet, email questions to If you believe you have seen one in Indiana, contact the Department of Natural Resources.