Second ‘murder hornet’ nest eradicated and a third nest has been located in Washington state

An Asian giant hornet collected from a nest in Washington state on Sept. 11. (WSDA Photo)

The Washington State Department of Agriculture eradicated another Asian giant hornet nest over the weekend and said it located the third nest of 2021, which it also planned to destroy soon.

In posts on Twitter and Facebook on Saturday, WSDA showed off one particularly large “murder hornet” as well as a cut-open tree trunk containing a portion of the insects’ nest. The agency said the nest, located where others have been found near Blaine in Whatcom County, Wash., had four combs.

“A third nest this season has been located and plans are underway for eradication,” WSDA said. “We will have more to update in the coming days.”

The comb from an Asian giant hornet nest on Sept. 11. (WSDA Photo)

WSDA trapped and tagged hornets last week and used the radio technology to track at least one to the nest which was eradicated on Saturday.

The agency did not provide any further details on how many life stages were in the nest, or whether it had tagged new hornets to find the third nest. A nest that was removed in August contained nine combs and 1,500 insects in various life stages.

The first Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S. was discovered last fall in the same area of Northwest Washington. The hornet is not native to the U.S. and the state is working hard to keep the insects from living up to their murderous nickname.

“Murder hornets” are known to attack and destroy honeybee hives during a “slaughter phase” where they kill bees by decapitating them. A small group of Asian giant hornets can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours.

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Science Asian giant hornet Murder hornet Washington state department of agriculture Wsda