Story at a glance

  • Authorities in Washington state eradicated the second Asian giant hornet — also known as the "murder hornet" — nest of the season.
  • A third nest has been located.
  • The Washington State Department of Agriculture announced last month that it removed a massive nest with about 1,500 Asian giant hornets, which were in “various stages of development.”

Authorities in Washington state eradicated the second Asian giant hornet — also known as "murder hornet" — nest of the season and located a third, according to a tweet from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) on Sunday. 

The WSDA announced last month that it removed a massive nest with about 1,500 Asian giant hornets, which were in “various stages of development.” Authorities located the nest after capturing and tagging three hornets with tracking devices — leading them to the nest at the base of a dead tree near the site of the widely publicized nest the department eradicated in 2020. 

The department's managing entomologist Sven Spichiger in August called on the public to notify authorities of sightings, saying the detection and removal of the giant nest  showed “how important public reporting continues to be.” 

“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 said.


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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 Sep 13, 2021