Officials Find and Destroy First Murder Hornet Nest of 2021

Officials Find and Destroy First Murder Hornet Nest of 2021

( – Biologists detected the arrival of at least three new varieties of Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia) in the Pacific Northwest in 2020. The flying insects earned their nickname, “murder hornets,” from their tendency to prey on honeybees. Scientists say they can swoop down and snatch bees in mid-flight and bite off their heads. It only takes a few hours for a few dozen giant hornets to wipe out thousands of bees.

On Thursday, August 26, the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) announced the destruction of the first nest of Asian giant hornets for 2021. Officials located the nest in Whatcom County, located in Washington’s northwest corner south of Vancouver, Canada, and west of North Cascades National Park.

Using large vacuums and cutting instruments, WSDA workers removed 113 hornets from a tree containing the nest. Continuing, the team removed the portion of an alder tree containing the nest. An additional 67 murder hornets were captured in the area.

The nest, which contained nine layers of comb, was transported to Bellingham’s Washington State University Extension for analysis. The nest contained nearly 1,500 hornets.

The WSDA’s managing entomologist, Sven Spichiger, stressed the need for early detection of nests. He wants to find and eradicate more nests this year as soon as possible.

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