A few months ago, specimens of the Asian giant hornet were discovered in the USA. Apparently the species is in the process of conquering a new living space. That should absolutely be prevented. Now it is possible for the first time to locate a nest and to take targeted action against the so-called “killer hornets”.
Employees of the US Department of Agriculture took action against so-called “killer hornets” with a sensational campaign. They removed the first invasive species nest discovered in the United States.
The nest of the Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia) was found Thursday by entomologists from the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) on property in Blaine near the Canadian border. Previously, the experts had spent weeks looking for it. To do this, they caught individual specimens and tied tiny transmitters to their bodies with dental floss. The animals grow up to five centimeters long and sting very painfully.
At dawn, a team then sucked the insects out of their nest. The experts involved were clad in protective suits from head to toe in order to be prepared for possible attacks. The dead tree in which the nest was located was wrapped in foil. Then the suction device was used. At first it was only reported that the removal of the nest had been successful.
In December 2019, the first specimen of the Asian giant hornet was spotted in the USA. Since then, scientists have been looking for possible nests to prevent further reproduction of the species.
It is still unclear how the hornets, which are actually native to East Asia and Japan, came to the USA. The insects do not normally attack humans, but they pose a significant threat to bee colonies. They are notorious for severely decimating honeybee colonies. Enthusiasts report real massacres among honey bees, in which the hornets bite off the bees ‘heads and then occupy the bees’ nests to feed on the pupae and larvae.
In Japan, around 30 to 50 people die each year from the poisonous and painful sting of the hornet species. Scientists warn that the insect could spread and establish itself permanently in North America if not eliminated in the next few years.