Experts who eradicated Asian giant hornet’s nest: ‘We got there just in the nick of time’

The Washington State Department of Agriculture experts revealed on Tuesday what they found inside the Asian giant hornet’s nest. The nest was found in a tree near Blaine.

Entomologists examined the nest and found it had the ability to produce as many as 200 queens. If the hornets had the chance to leave the nest, many could have created their own nests next spring.

From the time experts vacuumed out the nest and sealed it off Oct. 24 and examined it Oct. 29, 76 queens had emerged from their cells. The nest had 108 cells with queens that had not emerged.

When entomologists vacuumed out the nest days earlier, they only found workers.

“It really seems we got there just in the nick of time,” said Sven-Erik Spichiger, an entomologist with the WA Department of Agriculture. “There’s no way for us to ever be certain whether we got them all.”

But what they did find brings great relief. They say it prevented the potential of as many as 200 new nests.

They will keep searching for three more nests believed to be in Whatcom County. As the weather gets colder, it is harder for hornets to fly. And it is less likely that they will be found in traps. The best bet at finding another nest is if someone finds one in the woods. The nests are usually located in the ground.