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Asian giant hornet nest with nearly 1,500 hornets eradicated in east Blaine

An Asian giant hornet nest in eastern Blaine containing about 1,500 hornets is seen during eradication process (August 25, 2021). Photo courtesy of WSDA
An Asian giant hornet nest in eastern Blaine containing about 1,500 hornets is seen during eradication process (August 25, 2021). Photo courtesy of WSDA

BLAINE, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) reports they eradicated the first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 yesterday, August 25th.

The nest was found in the base of a dead alder tree east of Blaine and 1/4-mile south of the US-Canada border. This nest was about 2 miles from the nest WSDA eradicated last October and about a quarter-mile from where a resident reported a live sighting of an Asian giant hornet on August 11th.

According to this morning’s announcement, WSDA staff began Wednesday’s eradication by vacuuming 113 worker hornets from the nest. Once the worker hornets were removed, the team began removing bark and decayed wood at the entrance to the nest. Removing the wood revealed that the hornets had excavated the interior of the tree make room for the nest, which consisted of 9 layers of comb.

The portion of the tree with the nest was cut and transported to Washington State University Extension office in Bellingham for further analysis. In addition to the worker hornets vacuumed from the tree, WSDA staff caught 67 additional hornets in the area with nets during the eradication. The nest itself had nearly 1,500 hornets in various stages of development.

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An Asian giant hornet nest in eastern Blaine containing about 1,500 hornets is seen during eradication process (August 25, 2021). Video courtesy of WSDA

“While we are glad to have found and eradicated this nest so early in the season, this detection proves how important public reporting continues to be,” WSDA Managing Entomologist Sven Spichiger said. “We expect there are more nests out there and, like this one, we hope to find them before they can produce new queens. Your report may be the one that leads us to a nest.”

WSDA will continue to trap for Asian giant hornets through the end of November. People who would like to set their own traps can find instructions on the WSDA’s website. Those who suspect they have seen an Asian giant hornet should take a photograph if possible and visit agr.wa.gov/hornets to report the sighting.

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