Wash. officials discover and eradicate murder hornet nest

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A Washington State Department of Agriculture worker displays an Asian giant hornet taken from a nest on October 24, 2020, in Blaine, Washington. - Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. Workers with the state Agriculture Department spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops. (Photo by Elaine Thompson / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ELAINE THOMPSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

A Washington State Department of Agriculture worker displays an Asian giant hornet taken from a nest on October 24, 2020, in Blaine, Washington. (Photo by ELAINE THOMPSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:05 PM PT – Friday, August 27, 2021

On Thursday, the Washington State Department of Agriculture said officials found and destroyed the first Asian giant hornet nest of the season. In rural Whatcom County, the Department said they were able to locate the nest using a hornet that had been previously tagged.

According to state officials, the nine-layer nest had nearly 1,500 hornets inside at various stages of development.

“One of the hornets that we had tagged just kept appearing and reappearing on our radio receiver devices and we were able to team up with not just the USDA [U.S. Department of Agriculture], but also the Oregon Department of Agriculture and eventually follow it back to the nest, which is where eyes were laid on it by one of the members of the Oregon Department of Agriculture,” said Sven Spichiger, an entomologist for the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Once locating the nest, authorities said the hornets made their home at the base of a dead alder tree, similar to one officials destroyed last October. Also known as the “murder hornets,” the insects are the largest hornets in the world and are an invasive species to North America.

They are known to prey on honey bees and their hives. Officials say it only takes a few hours for a group of hornets to destroy a bee hive.

In the meantime, the State Department of Agriculture said it would continue to hunt down and search for murder hornets through the end of September.

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