The panicked headlines caused by the existence of giant "murder hornets" may have died down for a bit amid the coronavirus pandemic, but that has come to an end. The first reported nest of the Asian giant hornets was discovered in Washington, the same state where the hornets themselves were first found in the country.
According to CNN, the hornets were first discovered nearly a year ago in Washington state and raised alarms with many experts. The hornet is considered an invasive species, preying on already vulnerable honey bees and other insects, killing an entire hive within hours.
Got ‘em. Vacuumed out several #AsianGiantHornets from a tree cavity near Blaine this morning. Further details will be provided at a press conference on Monday. Staff not available for interviews before then. pic.twitter.com/31kgAUuJd0— WA St Dept of Agr (@WSDAgov) October 24, 2020
The property owner where the nest was discovered permitted Washington State's Agriculture Department to destroy the nest and remove the tree where it was uncovered. Typical giant hornets are found nesting in the ground, but dead trees also offer a comfortable home for the terrifying critters.
WSDA set up traps around the state to track hornets, and discovered dozens of bees entering and leaving the nest discovered in the town of Blaine. Photos of the experts dealing with the bees almost look like something out of a science fiction movie, with high tech traps, radio tags, and entomologists in futuristic spacesuits.
The horror that these insects have bred is ridiculous in some aspects, reminiscent of the Africanized honey bees that were set to take over the United States in the early 1990s. To help dissuade people from panicking over the large hornets, the WSDA released a video showing one of the Asian giant "murder hornets' taking down some strawberry jam after its tagging on Thursday.
The major threat from the "murder hornets" isn't human beings. They do kill people but according to The Daily Mail, "murder hornets" kill upwards of a dozen people a year across Asia. In the U.S., bees, hornets and wasps kill an average of 62 people. The primary victim of the hornets are honeybees, which are already under threat and dying out. Honey bees are a significant tool for farmers around the U.S., keeping crops stable and helping them grow.