Washington state authorities say an Asian giant hornet has turned up near the Canadian border, carrying with it the potential for a powerful and painful sting — and a potential threat to honeybees.
These adult hornets are nearly 2 inches long with large yellow heads. Washington state health and agricultural officials ask people near the northern town of Blaine to be on the lookout for the invasive species.
“Although it is not typically aggressive toward humans, this unwelcome pest can inflict a powerful sting and also represents a threat to honeybees, for which they have a voracious appetite,” the state Department of Agriculture said in a pest alert issued Thursday.
The department said the hornets are usually dormant in the winter months and are most common from July through October. Officials said they can quickly destroy honeybee hives. Officials in British Columbia discovered an Asian giant hornet colony there in August and destroyed it.
Washington agricultural officials say they are preparing traps to monitor for more of the giant hornets.