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Murder Hornets Won't Make Their Way To The Midwest, Entomologist Says

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren
An Asian giant hornet from Japan is held on a pin by Sven Spichiger, an entomologist with the Washington state Dept. of Agriculture, Monday, May 4, 2020, in Olympia, Wash. The insect, which has been found in Washington state, is the world's largest hornet

People are still scared of Asian giant hornets, nicknamed "murder hornets," who bite the heads off of bees and deliver a stinger that slices through beekeeper suits. But the question is, will they make their way from Washington State to the Tri-State?

You might think all it takes is one murder hornet flying into a camper in the Pacific Northwest and then that mobile home brings it to Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana. Mt. St. Joseph University Biology Professor Gene Kritsky says not so fast.

Unless you are hauling bees, murder hornets won't be interested in hitching a ride. He's not going to lose any sleep over it.

Right now the larger-than-life pest remains out west. And scientists are trying to find and destroy their nests. The only nest they found is in British Columbia.

Memorial Day weekend hikers southeast of Seattle got a scare but the notice turned out to be fake:

Kritsky is fascinated with the Asian giant hornet and says he would go to hunt them down if asked. "That'd be a lot of fun. I love going into the field and this is an interesting species."

Murder hornets have a wing span of three inches and a stinger a quarter of an inch long that Kritsky says he's heard feels like a hot nail driving into you.

Another fun fact about murder hornets? Kritsky says you can eat and drink them.

"The adult stinger, everything can be fried and used as a snack," he says. "If you take an adult and you put it in alcohol, as it goes through its death throes, it releases its venom, which is a slight neurotoxin, which when added to a distilled spirit seems to give a stronger kick."

Kritsky says you can buy a drink with the Asian giant hornet for about twenty bucks in Japan.

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.