WSDA discovers Asian giant hornet nest in Blaine – first in the U.S.

BLAINE, Wash. — Entomologists with the Washington State Department of Agriculture say they found an Asian giant hornet nest in Blaine Thursday. The nest is the first-ever found in the U.S.

After weeks of trapping and searching, the nest was found in the cavity of a tree on private property near an area that had been cleared for a house.

Officials say Asian giant hornets usually nest in the ground but are occasionally found nesting in dead trees. Dozens of the hornets were seen going in and out of the tree by WSDA staff.

The discovery came after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets on Oct. 21 that were caught in a new type of trap WSDA had put in the area. Two more living hornets were found in another trap the next morning when WSDA staff arrived to tag the previously trapped hornets with radio trackers and follow one back to its nest.

The entomologists attached radio trackers to three hornets, and one led them to the nest, which was found about 4 p.m. Thursday.

WSDA said it plans to destroy the nest on Saturday. The tree will be removed, if necessary.

The agency has been searching for Asian giant hornet nests since the first such hornets were caught earlier this year.

“Asian giant hornets, an invasive pest not native to the U.S., are the world’s largest hornet and a predator of honey bees and other insects. A small group of Asian giant hornets can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours,” WSDA said in a news release.