2020 Season Finale: Murder Hornets Here!



Alex Herman, Reporter

Just thinking about the first murder hornet nest being found here in the U.S. gives us all chills, but thankfully the first nest has been destroyed just two days after its discovery.

For the past couple months, entomologists and scientists have been keeping up and fighting off these invasive “Asian giant hornets”, which have been known to destroy honeybee colonies. Their natural habitat is in the areas of Asia from China to Japan, but also recently found in North America.

The first murder hornet was detected in Washington in December of 2019. Ten months later, Entomologists were able to “attach radio trackers to three hornets that had been caught in a trap last week, and one of those led them to the nest, which was discovered Thursday and destroyed over the weekend.” All found in one tree.

Workers suited up in action taking on this vicious  hornet nest from the tree.    nbcnews.com

On October 24, The Washington State Department of Agriculture workers went in with protective suits on because the hornets can sting you repeatedly and even spit venom. They “used foam to seal crevices, wrapped the tree in cellophane and then used a vacuum hose to suck out the hornets.” Carbon dioxide was then pumped in to kill what ever remained. Scientist recovered 98 hornets from the nest and 13 were captured alive in a net. Specimens will then be “used in research, including some live hornets that will be studied by the USDA to try and find out what attracts them and what chemicals they react to, which is a first-of-its kind opportunity in the U.S., Entomologist Sven Spichiger said. Others will be flash frozen and sent to other researchers and universities.