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Tracker attached to hornet leads to first Asian giant hornet nest of 2021 located in Whatcom County

Asian giant hornets are seen entering and leaving a nest at a base of a tree in rural eastern Blaine (August 19, 2021). Photo courtesy of WSDA
Asian giant hornets are seen entering and leaving a nest at a base of a tree in rural eastern Blaine (August 19, 2021). Photo courtesy of WSDA

BLAINE, Wash. — Officials with Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) announced today, August 19th, they have located a nest of Asian giant hornets in eastern Blaine, 1-quarter mile from a civilian reported sighting on August 11th.

The nest was located at the base of a tree in a rural area east of Blaine.

A WSDA tracking team and a team of Oregon State Department of Agriculture (ODA) and USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) staff searched the area beginning this morning at 7:30am with the USDA APHIS and ODA team spotting the nest about 9:15am.

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WSDA netted, tagged with a tracker and released 3 hornets between August 11th and August 17th. 1 hornet slipped out of the tracking device, another hornet was never located and one eventually led the team to the nest.

WSDA entomologists will now develop plans to eradicate the nest, which is expected to happen next week.

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.

While 1 nest has been located, there may still be more. The public is still asked to report suspected Asian giant hornet sightings in Washington State at agr.wa.gov/hornets.

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