Story at a glance

  • Washington authorities on Wednesday eradicated a nest containing 1,500 Asian giant hornets.
  • The nest was located at the base of a dead tree about 2 miles from the site of the widely reported nest authorities eliminated in 2020.
  • “We expect there are more nests out there and, like this one, we hope to find them before they can produce new queens,” the state’s managing entomologist said.

Washington state authorities on Wednesday removed a nest containing more than 1,000 murder hornets — the first nest eradicated this season. 

FILE (Getty)

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) said in a statement that the nest was located at the base of a dead tree about 2 miles from the site of the widely reported nest it eliminated in 2020. Staff at the WSDA removed about 1,500 Asian giant hornets, or murder hornets, which were in “various stages of development.” 


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“While we are glad to have found and eradicated this nest so early in the season, this detection proves how important public reporting continues to be,” WSDA managing entomologist Sven Spichiger said in the statement. 

“We expect there are more nests out there and, like this one, we hope to find them before they can produce new queens. Your report may be the one that leads us to a nest,” he continued. 

Authorities discovered the nest earlier in August after three hornets were captured and tagged with tracking devices — leading them to the nest. 


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Asian giant hornets can be anywhere from 1.5 to 2 inches long and are “equipped with relatively massive mandibles (teeth) and can easily tear honey bees in half,” according to a 2020 report from the USDA. Murder hornets generally attack honeybees in late summer and early fall.

“They can conduct mass attacks on honey bee hives, destroying the hive in a matter of hours,” according to the WSDA. 

Asian giant hornets were first discovered in the U.S. in 2019. 


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Published on Aug 27, 2021