Weeks of searching have finally paid off as scientists in Washington state located the first Asian giant hornet nest in the United States.
The Washington state Department of Agriculture confirmed on Friday that the nest of "murder hornets" was discovered in a tree on a property east of Blaine, Washington, in Whatcom County, KOMO News reports. The nest was found after entomologists captured one of the hornets and equipped it with a radio tag to follow it back to the nest.
The entomologists intend to destroy the nest on Saturday in an effort to eradicate the invasive species before they have chance to spread their reign of terror first throughout Washington and then the rest of the United States.
Officials told KOMO that the successful discovery of the nest came after a trapper captured two live Asian giant hornets on Wednesday using a new kind of trap the state agency deployed in the area.
Two more living hornets were found in another trap on Thursday morning, when scientists returned to attach a radio tracker to the first hornet. All three were outfitted with the transmitters and one of them led entomologists back to its nest Friday.
Video from the Washington Department of Agriculture shows the massive deadly hornets, which can grow as big as 2 inches long, entering and exiting their nest.
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The nest is inside the cavity of a tree located on private property near an area cleared for a residential home. While Asian giant hornets normally nest in the ground, they are occasionally found nesting in dead trees. Dozens of the hornets were seen entering and exiting the tree.
The discovery of the nest follows two previous unsuccessful attempts to live-track hornets captured in the same immediate area just south of the Canadian border. It's believed there may be at least one other murder hornet nest in the same area of Whatcom County.
The first confirmed detection of an Asian giant hornet in Washington state was made in December 2019 and the first hornet was caught in July after agents spent months placing traps in the area. Several more were subsequently caught, all in Whatcom County.
Beekeepers in Washington have lived in terror of the invasive giant hornets since their discovery was first reported in Washington state in late 2019. The hornets prey on honey bees, using their lethal mandibles to decapitate up to 40 bees per minute, devastating colonies and ruining the fortunes of beekeepers.
Their sting is also deadly to humans. Over just three months in 2013, Asian giant hornets killed 42 people and injured 1,675 more in China. The hornets kill about 50 people annually in Japan.
Scientists believe there is at least one other nest somewhere in Whatcom County.
Who knows where else they might be in America?