The first Asian Giant Hornet’s nest in the U.S. is being examined in Washington after the tree it was discovered in was chopped down and a section of it opened up.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture said it “may be some time” before the final number of insects is known.
The nest was found in Blaine, Washington on October 22 after a number of hornets were trapped and tagged with tracing devices. The nest was then eradicated “by vacuuming the hornets out of the nest,” the department said.
Asian giant hornets are native to China and Japan but they started spreading into North America last year, sparking fear that they might decimate vulnerable honey bee hives in the U.S. and Canada. The first ones were spotted near Nanaimo, B.C., in August 2019.
The insects were nicknamed “murder hornets” earlier this year, and that name is well-deserved. A handful of the armoured hornets can wipe out an entire honeybee colony in an afternoon, slaughtering the bees one by one while shrugging off hundreds of stings. The hornets then capture the honeybees’ young and bring them back to the nest for food.
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