The nest of murder hornets was successfully destroyed. But now they're looking for more.
2020 has handed us another delightful player, the Asian giant hornet. These deadly pests, affectionately known as "murder hornets," can decimate entire honeybee colonies and even take down susceptible humans. Not only are they startlingly large (they can grow to over two inches long), they have a nasty habit of decapitating beehive inhabitants before moving in to feed on their honey.
Officials from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) have officially identified the first murder hornet nest in the town of Blaine.
In true 2020 fashion, our last video accidentally had several minutes of black screen at the end. Here's what we meant to post of the #AsianGiantHornet nest found in a tree cavity in Whatcom County. pic.twitter.com/f1vO8qxmly— WA St Dept of Agr (@WSDAgov) October 23, 2020
Just this weekend, the nest was successfully destroyed and many of its inhabitants eradicated.
Got ‘em. Vacuumed out several #AsianGiantHornets from a tree cavity near Blaine this morning. Further details will be provided at a press conference on Monday. Staff not available for interviews before then. pic.twitter.com/31kgAUuJd0— WA St Dept of Agr (@WSDAgov) October 24, 2020
In an effort to monitor the spread of the hornets and potentially locate additional nests, scientists are tracking individual hornets by tagging them.
Generally speaking, murder hornets are most dangerous to their prey, including other insects and honeybees. However, in Japan, dozens of death each year are attributed to their stings. According to Science News, the hornets could feasibly spread at a rate of 100 km per year. Yikes!
For more information about murder hornets in Washington, check out the official press release put out by the WSDA. You can also follow along with their Twitter account to see how the tagging and searching is going as they look for more nests.
What are your thoughts on this newest infestation? Par for the course for 2020, or does it keep you up at night? Let us know in the comments!