First ever ‘murder hornet’ nest in U.S. discovered in Washington State
BLAINE, WA (KPTV) – The first ever Asian giant hornet nest has been found in Washington state.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture said entomologists discovered the nest in Blaine, which is in Whatcom County near the Canadian border.
The nest is inside the cavity of a tree on private property near an area cleared for a home.
“While Asian giant hornets normally nest in the ground, they are occasionally found nesting in dead trees. Dozens of the hornets were seen entering and exiting the tree while the WSDA team was present,” according to an agency statement.
Agriculture officials in Washington have been working to track down a nest for the hornets, which have been menacingly dubbed “murder hornets.” There had been multiple sightings of the invasive hornets in the Blaine area this month.
The agency plans to destroy the nest Saturday. Inclement weather forced them to postpone plans to eliminate the nest Friday, according to WSDA.
The nest was found after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets Wednesday using a new type of trap that was placed in the area. Two more live hornets were found in another trap Thursday morning.
Entomologists were able to attach radio trackers to the hornets, and one of them led to the discovery of the nest late Thursday afternoon.
The property owner has provided permission for WSDA staff to eradicate the nest and remove the tree, if necessary.
Asian giant hornets, an invasive pest not native to the U.S., are the world’s largest hornet and a predator of honey bees and other insects. A small group of Asian giant hornets can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours, according to WSDA.
For more, go to agr.wa.gov/hornets.
Asian giant hornets, known as “murder hornets” were discovered in northern Washington state. Images from the Washington State Department of Agriculture.