Atlanta

State hiring people to trap invasive species of hornet that kills honeybees

ATLANTA — The Georgia Department of Agriculture is upping its game to help get rid of the invasive Yellow-legged Hornet.

Yellow-legged hornets are a social wasp species that builds egg-shaped paper nests, often in trees. These nests can become huge, with an average of 6,000 workers.

The hornet is native to tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia and “is a predatory insect that has been reported to attack western honeybee colonies and has become a serious pest of beekeeping operations where it has been introduced,” said Ben Powell, who directs Clemson Cooperative Extension’s Apiary and Pollinator program.

Now, the state agriculture department is hiring part-time trappers to help locate where the bee-eating hornets are moving to, WTOC-TV reported.

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“We’re working with our USDA partners to show, hey, we’ve not only looked in the area where we know it is, but we’ve looked other places out of an abundance of caution, just to show it’s not there, and that’s important,” Mike Evans, the program director at the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Plant Protection Division, told the TV station.

So far, the department has set up over 1,000 traps and said the help to monitor those traps will make tracking and getting rid of the hornets more efficient.

The job pays anywhere from $15 to $17 an hour, with a work week being up to 29 hours, the TV station said.

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