On Tuesday, August 15, 2023, the Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) announced the first detection of the yellow-legged hornet (YLH), Vespa velutina, in North America. The specimen was reported by a beekeeper near the port of Savannah, GA. This hornet is not to be confused with the Northern giant hornet discovered in Northwestern USA in 2020, which has not been found outside of that region. The yellow-legged hornet is a predator of honeybees and poses a risk to Alabama’s beekeeping industry. Even it if fails to kill a colony, its threatening behavior at hive entrances can intimidate honeybees from foraging and causing the colony to decline. If you suspect that you have found a yellow-legged hornet, please attempt to take a clear photo of the specimen with the abdomen and legs visible and use the link https://agi.alabama.gov/contact-us/ to send the image with subject line “Invasive Species.”  The graphics below show key diagnostic characteristics for the yellow-legged hornet and some native lookalikes.