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1st ‘murder hornet’ nest of 2021 found in Washington state

Nest discovered week after live hornet was spotted nearby
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Posted at 8:54 AM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-20 11:33:39-04

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The first “murder hornet” nest of 2021 has been found in Washington state.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) says crews located the Asian giant hornet nest in a rural area of Blaine, about a quarter-mile from where a resident reported seeing a live hornet on Aug. 11. The city is along the border of the United States and Canada.

Between Aug. 11 and Aug. 17, the department says it was able to catch three live hornets, tag them with trackers, and release them.

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An Asian giant hornet flies with a bent radio tag still attached more than 24 hours after being tagged

“One hornet slipped out of the tracking device, another hornet was never located, and one eventually led the team to the nest,” the department said.

A tracking team spotted the nest at about 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, according to officials.

The department says its entomologists will now develop their plans to eradicate the nest, most likely next week.

“Asian giant hornets are not native to the U.S. They are the world’s largest hornet and prey on honeybees and other insects,” wrote the department. “These hornets may attack honeybee hives in the late summer or early fall. A small group of Asian giant hornets can kill an entire honeybee hive in a matter of hours.”

While one nest has been located, the department says there may still be more.

If you spot a suspected Asian giant hornet in Washington state, you’re asked to report it at agr.wa.gov/hornets. While no “murder hornets” have been found in Oregon, suspected sightings can be reported at oda.fyi/HornetReport.