First Asian giant hornet nest found in Washington contained 500 insects in various stages of development

Washington state entomologists announced Tuesday the first Asian giant hornet nest discovered in the state contained about 500 pupae and live hornets late last month in Whatcom County. The 2-inch-long hornets, also known as murder hornets, were first discovered in northwest Washington in December. Since then, the Washington State Department of Agriculture has been working to eradicate the hornets, which have not been found anywhere in the state except in Whatcom County and just over the border with Canada.

On Oct. 22, officials followed a live hornet with an electronic tracking device to a tree in Whatcom County. In the early morning hours of Oct. 24, entomologists went to the nest and used a vacuum to remove several hornets from the nest, said Sven-Erik Spichiger, the department’s managing entomologist. By the end, the scientists managed to capture 500 live insects from the nest, including 67 queens.

While finding the nest was a major breakthrough in the effort to eradicate the large hornets from the region, trappings in other areas around Blaine and Custer suggest researchers have at least two other nests that have not yet been located. (Spokesman-Review)

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