Murder Hornet nest discovered in U.S.

Scientists have discovered the first nest of so-called murder hornets in the United States and plan to wipe it out to protect native honeybees. After weeks of searching, the agency said it found the nest of Asian giant hornets in Blaine, a city north of Seattle near the Canadian border. The world’s largest hornet at 2 inches long, the invasive insects can decimate entire hives of honeybees and deliver painful stings to people. Farmers in the northwestern U.S. depend on those honeybees to pollinate many corps, including raspberries and blueberries. Despite their nickname and hype around the insect that has stirred fears in an already bleak year, the hornets kill at most a few dozen people a year in Asian countries. Meanwhile, hornets, wasps and bees typically found in the United States kill an average of 62 people a year per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The real threat from Asian giant hornets is their devastating attacks on honeybees. A small group of hornets can kill an entire honeybee hive in hours. The nest was found after a worker for Washington State Agriculture Department caught two of the large hornets in a trap. Using dental floss, entomologists were able to attach radio trackers to hornets which led them to the discovery of the nest. The nest was found inside the cavity of a tree on private property. Dozens of the hornets were seen buzzing in and out of the tree. The property owner has given permission for agency staff to eradicate the nest and remove the tree, if necessary. The invasive insect is normally found in China, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and other Asian countries. It is not known how it arrived in North America. Washington State and the Canadian province of British Columbia are the only places the hornets have been found.