First Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 found near Blaine

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — The first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 was found near Blaine.

According to a release from the Washington State Department of Agriculture, the nest was found in a rural area east of Blaine, about a quarter-mile from where a resident spotted a “murder hornet” on Aug. 11.

The nest was found by WSDA, Oregon State Department of Agriculture, and the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service after the crew narrowed their search area after other days of searching, finding the nest about 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

The find also comes after WSDA hosted a field training day to help trap Asian giant hornets in Washington.

There was an all-day session held near Blaine, where the live Asian giant hornet was spotted and where a nest was found last year.

“I was glad to be able to share what I learned last year with our ODA collaborators,” said Stacy Herron, a USDA APHIS plant health safeguarding specialist who assisted WSDA on the hornet project last year. “Finding the nest with ODA one day after simulating tagging and tracking in training was a very rewarding experience and demonstrates just how valuable the WSDA training was.”

WSDA said recently it released three hornets that were tagged with a tracker between Aug. 11 - 17 — one slipped out of the tracking device, another was never found and the third led them to the nest.

A plan will be developed to eliminate the nest, which could happen next week.

Officials said while this nest has been found, there could be more, which is why they are asking the public to report any sightings at agr.wa.gov/hornets in Washington State. And while there have been no sightings in Oregon, any suspected sightings can be reported at oda.fyi/HornetReport.

“Asian giant hornets are not native to the U.S. They are the world’s largest hornet and prey on honey bees and other insects. These hornets may attack honey bee hives in the late summer or early fall. A small group of Asian giant hornets can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours.”