Washington tracks Asian giant hornet to nest for first time

Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologists have tracked a nonnative Asian giant hornet back to its nest for the first time. After collecting three hornets, the team fitted them with radio trackers using glue and dental floss and followed one back to its nest in a tree cavity on private property in the town of Blaine. The entomologists saw dozens of hornets entering and exiting the nest in the tree, which came as a surprise, since the species usually uses ground nests. The property owner gave the state permission to remove the nest, and the WSDA Pest Program vacuumed out numerous Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia). Nicknamed the “murder hornet” for the way it decapitates its prey, the insect kill honeybees that pollinate crops and eats ripe fruit on the trees. They are also known to attack paper wasp nests and yellow jackets in the area. The hornet was first seen in Washington in December, its first known appearance in North America.

Read more at WSDA.

Header Image: Scientists used a transmitter to track an Asian giant hornet back to its nest near Blaine, Washington.
Credit: Sheri Hartman