Hornets in the genus Vespa play a critical role as predators in their native habitats, but in North America these species may have a disastrous impact on agriculture, especially honey bees, and human populations in the United States. Hornets are large-bodied social wasps native to Europe and Asia. They usually build large nests constructed of papery material in cavities. Nests are usually constructed annually, founded in the spring by over-wintering queens. Hornets generally feed on fruit, nectar, and other insects. Several species, including the Asian giant hornet (V. mandarinia), will attack honey bee hives and the nests of other social wasps. Hornets have a potent sting, and they can pose a serious health risk to humans.
North American Hornet Screening Tool was designed and developed to facilitate rapid detection and identification of invasive hornets in the U.S., including the Asian giant hornet (V. mandarinia). North American Hornet Screening Tool will assist with separating the common non-target bees and wasps from introduced hornets, and is designed for anyone encountering these species in the U.S. A more in-depth version of this tool, that will provide specialized information for identifiers on all exotic hornet (Vespa) species, will be released in 2022.