The first ever murder hornet nest in the US has been found in Washington state, after radio trackers attached to the bugs lead scientists to the site.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) said entomologists discovered the Asian giant hornet nest on private property in Blaine, Whatcom County, close to the US-Canada border Thursday.
The insects had set up camp inside the cavity of a tree on the land that had been cleared to build residential property on.
This marks the first successful attempt to locate a nest of the so-called Asian giant hornets on US soil.
The creatures have earned the nickname of ‘murder hornets’ because they can wipe out entire bee hives in a matter of hours and their sting can be deadly to humans.
The first ever murder hornet nest in the US has been found in Washington state, after radio trackers were attached to the bugs leading scientists to the site
Experts are seen attaching tracking devices to the bugs to lead them to the nest
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) said entomologists discovered the Asian giant hornet nest on private property in Blaine, Whatcom County, close to the US-Canada border Thursday
The net closed in on the pesky insects when experts captured and attached tracking devices to some of the hornets.
Two Asian giant hornets were collected Wednesday using a new type of live trap and two more were caught in another trap Thursday morning.
Entomologists then attached radio trackers to the insects and waited for one of them to lead them to the nest.
One of the hornets was traced to the nest late Thursday afternoon where experts then watched dozens of hornets entering and exiting the tree.
‘While Asian giant hornets normally nest in the ground, they are occasionally found nesting in dead trees,’ the WSDA said in a statement.
‘Dozens of the hornets were seen entering and exiting the tree while the WSDA team was present.’
Entomologists then attached radio trackers to the insects and waited for one of them to lead them to the nest
The insects were traced using the radio trackers (attached above) and found to have set up camp inside the cavity of a tree on land that had been cleared to build residential property on
The agency will destroy the nest on Saturday after being forced to delay extermination plans for Friday due to the weather.
The property owner has also given permission for the tree to be removed if necessary.
The discovery of the nest comes after officials in Washington have been trying to track down a murder hornet nest for months – ever since the first bug was spotted on US soil earlier this year.
In the last month, there have been several sightings of the invasive pests in the Blaine area of the state.
A hornet after it was captured this week by the WSDA to be used to locate the nest
The Asian giant hornet is the world’s largest hornet at two inches and can decimate entire hives of honeybees.
Farmers in the northwestern US depend on those honey bees to pollinate many crops, including raspberries and blueberries.
Despite their nickname, the hornets kill at most a few dozen people a year in Asia, and experts say it is probably far less but they do deliver painful stings to humans.
Hornets, wasps and bees typically found in the US kill an average of 62 people a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Murder Hornet statistics
Latin name: Vespa mandarinia
Adult length: 1 3/4 inches
Wingspan: Three inches
Sting length: Quarter of an inch
Description: Yellow face and large black and yellow striped abdomen. Large jaws and a noisy flier.
Asian giant hornets are more than double the size of honeybees, and have a wingspan measuring more than three inches
Natural habitat: Across Asia
Venom: It administers seven times more venom than a honeybee when it stings. This acts as a neurotoxin and can lead to seizures and cardiac arrests. The sting is described as incredibly painful.
Behavior: Insect emerges in April and nests in the ground. It predates on many insects, but particularly targets honeybees.
Risks: Has a habit of sacking bee hives, decapitating the workers and stealing the young. The European honeybee has no defense against the invader. Its stings could also prove fatal to Americans.
Source: Daily Mail |World News