Bug experts dismiss worry about US 'murder hornets' as hype

FILE - This Dec. 30, 2019 photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture shows a dead Asian giant hornet in a lab in Olympia, Wash. It is the world's largest hornet, a 2-inch long killer with an appetite for honey bees. Dubbed the "Murder Hornet" by some, the insect has a sting that could be fatal to some humans.

Texas A&M AgriLife experts have formed a task force regarding the Asian giant hornet — sometimes called the “murder hornet” — according to AgriLife Today. The hornets prey on honeybees and have been spotted in Washington and Canada starting late last year.

The task force, formed at the request of Gov. Greg Abbott, includes experts from Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, the A&M Department of Entomology and the Center for Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense. “Although this pest has not been spotted in Texas, the hornet poses a threat to both agriculture and public health,” said Patrick J. Stover in the AgriLife story. Stover is vice chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of Texas A&M AgriLife Research. “Because of this, we are bringing to bear the diverse expertise and knowledge base that exists within Texas A&M AgriLife to collaborate with federal partners and extension agents across the country to protect our state and the global food supply.”

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