For the past few weeks, the phrase “murder hornet” has made frequent appearances in media outlets — producing chilling claims that a dangerous human-killer threatens to invade North America. But despite the buzz, these hornets — technically called Asian giant hornets — are much more of a threat to honey bee populations than they are to people.
Dark green forests, blue skies, fresh water and sunny days are what make Ithaca ‘gorges.’ Unfortunately, this aesthetic is under attack by none other than the infamous Emerald Ash Borer. The EAB is an invasive beetle species which has destroyed ash trees across the country and its detection in Tompkins County is no surprise. The beetle was discovered in February in the Arnot Forest, which is Cornell’s largest teaching and research park at 4200 acres, by Mike Griggs, an entomologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service at Cornell’s Robert W. Holley Center. While peacefully walking his dogs near the forest, Griggs was startled upon recognized deep “wood-peckering” or exposed inner bark on the ash trees, an innuendo for the malignant beetle. The woodpecker activity is a common symptom because the birds are attracted to the larva.