First U.S. 'murder hornet' nest located in Blaine, Wash

Remigio Civitarese
Ottobre 24, 2020

This is the first nest found in the U.S.

"The rumors are true - our entomologists located the first-ever #AsianGiantHornet nest in the US late yesterday", a tweet from the Washington State Department of Agriculture reads. The hornets were fitted with tracking devices, and the scientists stalked them back to their nest, inside a tree in Blaine, Washington.

The successful detection of a nest comes after a WSDA trapper on Wednesday collected two live murder hornets caught in a new type of trap the agency placed in the area. In total, entomologists were able to tag three hornets with radio trackers, one of which led officials to the the nest on Thursday afternoon.

State officials had asked residents to report any sightings and which way the insects are flying to try and find a nest.

"People don't even drive down our road ever, so it's weird to see dozens of cars parked every day", she added, noting that there's also a Discovery Channel film crew shooting a documentary in the area, in addition to the numerous WSDA entomologists who have come and gone from the property in recent weeks.

Though these hornets do not generally attack people or pets, their stinger is longer than that of a honeybee, and contains a more toxic venom.

The Asian giant hornet, which has been dubbed the murder hornet due to its ability to induce excruciating pain, can grow up to two inches long with a stinger of almost one-quarter inch.

It takes only a small number of the aggressive hornets to wipe out an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours. Just over 20 have been caught so far, all in Whatcom County. The hornets prey on honey bees, using their lethal mandibles to decapitate up to 40 bees per minute, devastating colonies and ruining the fortunes of beekeepers. Two were also discovered in British Columbia, Canada, last fall. The first confirmed detection of the hornet in the US was in December 2019 near Blaine and the first hornet was trapped this July.

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