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NC Ag commissioner asking people to watch for, report nests of an invasive hornet

This photo shows a size comparison of an Stage 1 Yellow-legged hornets nest compared to a ping-pong ball.
Jonathan Veit
, Clemson University
This photo shows a size comparison of an Stage 1 Yellow-legged hornets nest compared to a ping-pong ball.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture is asking people to be on the lookout for the early-stage nests of the Yellow-legged hornet. While the invasive hornet species has not been found in North Carolina, it has been collected in Georgia and South Carolina.

Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said it’s no more harmful to humans than other hornets, but it can have a devastating impact on both managed and wild bees, especially honeybees.

The hornet builds egg-shaped paper nests above ground and often in trees. Mature nests can be large and house an average of 6,000 workers.

The nests are the brownish color of a paper bag and are relatively small, ranging between the size of a ping-pong ball and a tennis ball.

Anyone who finds a suspected nest or hornet should report their findings along with photos to https://www.ncagr.gov/divisions/plant-industry/yellow-legged-hornet-reporting.

Suspect nests should be left undisturbed to allow for proper disposal by inspectors.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to eastern North Carolina in 2019 to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of kiddo cuddling, reading, and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.