Washington State Department of Agriculture

Washington State Terminates 'Murder Hornet' Nest To Protect Honey Bees: 'Got 'Em'

In Blaine, Washington, the first "murder hornet", or Asian giant hornet, nest was discovered. Reports of murder hornet sightings across Washington alerted the Agricultural Department. The department was able to track the hornets to the cavity of a tree. Entomologists vacuumed up the hornets and they will destroy the hornets.

Entomologists discovered the nest by attaching trackers to captured hornets.

When the hornets returned home, the entomologists followed them. There, they found a large tree with dozens of hornets entering and exiting a hole. Asian giant hornets commonly live in holes in the ground or dead trees.

The stinger of an Asian giant hornet is much longer than a regular hornet.

Standard beekeeping clothes will not protect you. The crew that removed the hornets wore tougher suits.

Despite the nickname "murder hornet", Asian giant hornets rarely attack humans.

However, their nickname does capture how ruthless they are. The hornets can enter a "slaughter phase" and go on a killing rampage decapitating honeybees. A few hornets can destroy an entire honeybee hive in a few hours!

If Asian giant hornets are able to establish nests, they could spread across the West Coast.

The presence of Asian giant hornets could have a devastating effect on agriculture. Many crops depend on honeybees to pollinate crops. The hornets are a direct threat to these bees.

We do not know how the hornets came to North America.

The Asian giant hornets have been spotted in Washington and near the US-Canadian border. Now that they are here, we need to catch and eradicate the hornets to stop the spread.

h/t: USA Today

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