Minnesota Murder Hornets? Nah Those Are Just Cicada Killers
2020 has thrown a lot our way, COVID-19, Murder Hornets, strange seeds being mailed from China. One thing that we've got going for us right now in Minnesota is that there are no known reports of murder hornets being here. So what are those giant bees/wasps that you have seen in your backyard? Well, they are known as Giant Cicada Killer Wasps, and unless you are a cicada you really don't have much to worry about.
Yesterday the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources posted about the Minnesota-native gentle giant to let people know more about the insect that helps keep the cicada population in check.
The Minnesota DNR's social media posts goes on to state:
Murder hornet? Nope, super beneficial wasp. Cicada killer wasps like this one are out now keeping our cicada populations in check! Don’t let the scary name fool you. This Minnesota native wasp, is not aggressive - except to a cicada, which it stings and then carries to its underground burrow to feed its young. Predators like these keep our insect populations in balance so we can live in a happy, healthy Minnesota. Thanks wasp friend!
The wasp is one of the largest in North America, coming in at a whopping 30-40 mm in size, according to bugguide.net.
People mostly see the Giant Cicada Killer Wasps from June to September, and the females catch cicada's and bring them to there underground burrows for their larvae to eat. (More of those details here)