Hated Giant ‘Murder' Hornet Spotted Alive in the U.S.
The first live Asian giant “murder” hornet of 2021 has been spotted in Washington state, caught in the act of murdering.
BLAINE, WASHINGTON — They're back! The first live Asian giant “murder” hornet of 2021 has been spotted in Washington state — and it was caught in the act of living up to its name, attacking a wasp nest.
The news has scientists worried that America’s honey bees could get wiped out. Here are the details:
Asian giant hornets, colloquially known as murder hornets, are back in Washington state after a resident spotted a live insect, officials at the Washington State Department of Agriculture confirmed on Thursday, August 12.
The sighting occurred on August 11, near a rural area east of Blaine, in Whatcom County, Washington.
This is roughly two miles from where the first murder hornet nest, which contained 500 live specimens, including 200 queens, was eradicated in October of 2020.
The state’s agriculture department said it will set live traps in an attempt to catch a live hornet, tag it, and track it back to the nest.
Murder hornets kill honeybees, which are already under siege from mites, diseases and other factors.
They usually attack honey bee hives in the late summer or early fall.
A small group can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours.
Normally found in East Asia, nobody knows quite how the hornets came to America, but since 2019, there have been several sightings in Washington state.
With a length of 5 centimeters, they are the world's largest hornets — and they have an extremely painful sting.
According to the Washington State Department of Agriculture, the hornets enter a “slaughter phase” where they kill bees by decapitating them. They then defend the hive as their own, while taking the brood to feed their own brood.
The agency has already killed six or seven hives in Washington state since 2019.
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