2 more Asian giant hornets discovered in Washington

2 more Asian giant hornets discovered in Washington
A person holds an Asian giant hornet in this undated photo from the Washington State Department of Agriculture. (Washington State Department of Agriculture)

BIRCH BAY, Wash. — More Asian giant hornets were discovered in Washington, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

While experimental traps were being set in the Birch Bay area on Aug. 19, near where an unmated queen was trapped in July, a dead worker giant hornet was found in a trap set by a WSDA cooperator and local beekeeper, officials said.

That worker hornet was smaller than the other hornets that have been encountered, which underscores that their size can range from 1.5 inches (or less) to 2 inches, according to the agency. “This is a good reminder for those checking traps to keep their eyes open for smaller specimens, too.”

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In a Facebook advertisement run by WSDA, someone posted a photo of another giant hornet that was seen at a Birch Bay restaurant. It was taken Aug. 18, according to the reporting party.

Officials said the poster reported that they were dining when the hornet flew up. The poster captured a photo of it before it flew away.

Last week, radio tags were being tested for tracking live giant hornets back to their nest, and the trials appear to be promising, WSDA officials said.

The agency reported experimental traps to catch queens were also placed in Birch Bay, where some hornets were recently caught, as well as near a site of confirmed hive attacks last year. Those traps are intended to test how well various attractants work.

The WSDA reported that after a worker was found Aug. 19, it has also begun setting live traps in Birch Bay to catch the giant hornets. It plans to track the hornets back to their colony and eradicate them.

The agency is still working to find the first live Asian giant hornet.

Anyone who finds a live giant hornet in their trap is asked to email WSDA at hornets@agr.wa.gov and call the Asian giant hornet hotline at 1-800-443-6684.