It is great news for honeybees near the Pacific Northwestern US Canadian border that the first Asian giant hornet nest of the year has been located by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA).
We recently blogged that the first Asian giant hornet had been identified in the area in Whatcom County. You can read our recent blog post here.
Murder Hornets, as these invasive honey bee predators have been labeled by most US media, are deadly to honeybees. It only takes a handful of these hornets to wipe out an entire bee colony of up to 60,000 bees in just hours.
WSDA crews found the Asian giant hornet nest about a quarter of a mile away from where a resident reported spotting a live hornet on August 11, 2021. It was found in the rural part of Blaine, along the US Canada border.
This 0:22-minute video by King TV shows the newly discovered Asian giant hornet nest:
That first identification led to the nest being discovered. The nest entrance was found at the base of a tree, close to the earth. Following that first reported sighting of the year, between August 11 and 17, three live Asian giant hornets were caught and tagged with tracking devices, then released.
Of the three tagged hornets, one managed to escape from the tracking device, the second hornet was never located anywhere, and the third one led the WSDA team to the hornet nest according to officials.
Department entomologists are now developing a strategy to eradicate the nest in a timely manner. We will blog about this again when more news becomes available.
In late summer and early autumn, these invasive hornets, which are the largest hornets in the world, attack honey bees and other insects like paper wasps.
This is why everyone in Washington state should be vigilant, and if you suspect you have seen an Asian giant hornet in that state you should report it here right away. Time is of the essence in such a situation.
So far no such hornets have been spotted in the US state of Oregon, but if you see any, report the sighting here.
It is very good news that this first nest was discovered so quickly, but it is unlikely to be the only nest. That’s why, for the sake of the honeybees, vigilance is encouraged.