“It’s a lot easier to fly over the tree canopy and look for the signal that way as opposed to tramping through the forest,” Karla Salp, Public Engagement Specialist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), was quoted as saying by the New York Post. Interestingly, the WSDA has adopted a new name for these insects and will now refer to them as the northern giant hornet based on the recommendation of the Entomological Society of America (ESA).
First discovered on U.S. soil in 2019, four nests of the Asian giant hornet have been destroyed in the country so far. One particular nest that was destroyed in 2020 in the Blaine region of Washington had produced 200 queens and was eradicated “just in the nick of time, as quoted by CNN. To assist in its pest control endeavor, the WSDA is also running a Citizen Scientist Trapping initiative for catching the northern giant hornet using bottle traps.
Said to be the largest hornets in the world that can grow up to 2-inches in size, they prey on honeybees and can be devastating for agricultural harvest (via WSDA). An attack by these hornets often leaves a pile of dead bees in its wake rotting outside their beehives, most of them lying headless. These hornets are often spotted building a nest in tree cavities, but underground colonies are also fairly common.