After months of searching scientists in Washington have finally discovered the first nest of Asian murder hornets in the US.
Their home was uncovered on a property in Blaine, near the Canadian border, by entomologists from the Washington State Department of Agriculture.
The nest is scheduled to be destroyed on Sunday to protect local honeybees and scientists say that the Asian murder hornet is the largest hornet species in the world.
After the hornets were first discovered in Washington in 2019 it was found that they can destroy a whole nest of honeybees in just a few hours and scientists have been chasing them since the first one was spotted in December 2019.
A statement from the WSDA said “The successful detection of a nest comes after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets on October 21 (Wednesday), caught in a new type of trap the agency had placed in the area. Two more hornets, also living, were found in another trap the morning of October 22 when WSDA staff arrived in the area to tag the previously trapped hornets with radio trackers and follow one back to its nest.”
If the species is allowed to establish itself in the local area it would have a devasting affect on the environment. There is now a risk that they could spread across the whole of the country, however it is unsure as to how they managed to make it to the US. The hornets have orange and black markings and are nearly five centimetres in length. They are known for decimating honeybee colonies by literally biting the insects heads off. Although they are not known to attack humans, 50 cases in Japan have seen people fall ill and die after being stung by them.
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