“Insect Experts Bugged By Excessive Hype About ‘Murder Hornets’”

““This is 99% media hype and frankly I’m getting tired of it,” University of Delaware entomologist Doug Tallamy told AP. “Murder hornet? Please.””

“Insect experts say people should calm down about the big bug with the nickname “murder hornet” — unless you are a beekeeper or a honeybee.

The Asian giant hornets found in Washington state that grabbed headlines this week aren’t big killers of humans, although it does happen on rare occasions. But the world’s largest hornets do decapitate entire hives of honeybees, and that crucial food pollinator is already in big trouble.

Numerous bug experts told The Associated Press that what they call hornet “hype” reminds them of the 1970s public scare when Africanized honeybees, nicknamed “killer bees,” started moving north from South America. While these more aggressive bees did make it up to Texas and the Southwest, they didn’t live up to the horror-movie moniker. However, they also do kill people in rare situations.

This time it’s hornets with the homicidal nickname, which bug experts want to ditch.”

Seth Borenstein reports for the Associated Press May 7, 2020.