The first Asian giant hornet nest of the year was found this week in a rural area east of Blaine.
The nest was found not far from where this year’s first confirmed sighting of a live so-called “murder hornet” was reported earlier this month, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA).
WSDA netted, tagged with trackers and released three hornets between Aug. 11 and 17. One hornet slipped out of the tracking device, another hornet was never located again, and one eventually led the team to the nest, WSDA said in a statement.
State entomologists will develop a plan to eradicate the nest, which will likely happen next week, the department said.
“Teamwork has been the key to success with this effort,” WSDA managing entomologist Sven Spichiger said in a statement. “Whether it is the public reporting sightings and building traps or state and federal agencies working together, this is really a model for success in invasive species management.”
The world’s largest hornets, which are sometimes called “murder hornets” because they can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours, are not native to the U.S.
While one nest has been located, there may still be more, the department said. People in Washington are being asked to keep reporting suspected Asian giant hornet sightings at agr.wa.gov/hornets.