First 'murder hornet' nest of 2021 destroyed in Washington
WHATCOM COUNTY, Washington - A nest created by the largest hornets in the world, insects known for their tendency to decapitate bees and deliver a venomous sting, was discovered and then promptly destroyed in Washington this week, according to CNN.
The first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 was discovered by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in the base of a dead alder tree in rural Whatcom County Wednesday.
The nest was made up of nine layers of comb and had almost 1500 hornets in various stages of development, WSDA said.
"While we are glad to have found and eradicated this nest so early in the season, this detection proves how important public reporting continues to be," Sven Spichiger, WSDA managing entomologist said.
"We expect there are more nests out there and, like this one, we hope to find them before they can produce new queens. Your report may be the one that leads us to a nest."
The WSDA intends to send the part of the tree with the nest to Washington State University to be further analyzed.
Asian Giant hornets are native to northern India and East Asia and can grow to be up to two inches long, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Some experts say the insects can be a threat to humans because their stinger, which is typically 6 mm long, delivers a potent venom that, in cases of multiple hornets stinging simultaneously, can kill a human.