Watch: Washington team tracks Asian giant hornet to its nest

An Asian giant hornet with a tracking device is seen attacking paper wasps in Washington state.
Credit: Karla Salp/WSDA

After fresh reports of invasive Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia) in Washington state, staff members from the Washington State Department of Agriculture successfully tracked a hornet to its nest near the town of Blaine, in northwest Washington. Agency staffers netted and tagged three hornets with tracking devices. One hornet lost the device. A second disappeared. The third led the team to the nearby nest. State entomologists are now working on a plan to eradicate the nest, following a successful removal of a nest last year, and they are asking the public to be on the lookout for others. Because the site is close to the Canadian border, British Columbia authorities are also watching out for the invasive insects, which can be harmful to native bees, honeybees and fruit crops. Asian giant hornets were first spotted in Washington in December 2019, their first known appearance in North America.

Read more from the Seattle Times, and watch the WSDA video below to see the hornets in action at the nest.