Local scientist warns of invasive species impact

Local

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local entomologist is warning of the impact the Asian Giant hornet could have on the ecosystem if it’s not eradicated before its population grows out of control.

The hornet nicknamed, “murder hornet,” was found in the Pacific Northwest recently. The insect destroys honeybee colonies by eating them. The bug also eats any insect including predators like praying mantis.

“Pollinators are something a lot of people are paying attention to now. This hornet has been something people have been aware of for a long time and really, really, hoping that it didn’t make it here,” said Entomologist Carmen Greewnwood.

Greenwood is a professor at SUNY Cobleskill. She’s also working with other local scientist to survey New York State’s pollination population.

Greenwood said what impacts the “murder hornet” on honeybee colonies will in turn impact farmers relying on them to grow their crops.

“They’re probably going to eat some pest insects, but the price you’re going to pay for that is going to be really severe,” Greenwood said.

Animal Physiology Professor Rebecca Clark had a different take on the species.

“They sound really scary but in many cases our fear is the bigger issue more than what kind of threat they actually pose,” Clark said.

The Department of Environmental Conservation in a statement told NEWS10ABC: “New guidance from USDA indicates this insect has the potential to establish itself in the lower 48 states. More research will be needed to determine its biology and cold hardiness.”

Greenwood said if the hornets do spread it will be very difficult for beekeepers to manage.

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