Would it make you feel better to hear that Washington state agriculture crews captured 98 murder hornets as they eradicated the first Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S. this weekend? Oh, but what if we also mentioned that the queen bee got away? Gulp.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture crew members still made headway Saturday when they used radio trackers that had been attached to captured specimens to find the first Asian giant hornet nest in Blaine, Washington.
“Actually, it was little bit terrifying because the first thing we saw was a children’s play set less than 20, 30 feet from the active nest, so that’s when we knew we had to contact that immediately,” Washington state entomologist Sven-Erik Spichiger told KIRO-TV in Seattle.
The “Pest Program” crew members, looking like Baymax from “Big Hero 6” in their giant white suits, vacuumed 85 hornets from the next and caught 13 more in nets as they tried to escape like a jailbreak.
The murder hornet, discovered just more than a year ago, is not aggressive with people or pets typically but its venom is more lethal and can kill thousands of honey bees in a few hours, potentially affecting the crop supplies they pollinate.
“Murder hornets” also can sting, or even spit, venom repeatedly with a quarter-inch stinger that can penetrate a bee suit.
Spichiger said it is an important quest because the hornets are suited to live anywhere east of the Mississippi River, too. More nests are assumed to be in that Washington area.
So, no to long live the queen