Tags: murder hornet | washington | asian giant hornet | nest | queens

First 'Murder Hornet' Nest in US Had 200 Queens

scientist in a white protective suit holds cannister of hornets in a forest
Sven Spichiger, a Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him on October 24, 2020, in Blaine, Washington. (Elaine Thompson/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 11 November 2020 02:43 PM

The first nest of "murder hornets" discovered in the United States, which was destroyed last month, contained about 200 queens that were capable of producing larvae, The Hill reports.

Entomologists from the Washington State Department of Agriculture announced on Wednesday that "more than 500 Asian giant hornet specimens in various stages of development were collected" from the nest they destroyed as a safety precaution in October.

The nest, which was about 14 inches long and eight or nine inches wide, contained six combs with six unhatched eggs, 76 queens, 112 workers, nine drones, 190 total larvae, and 108 pupae that were mostly new virgin queens. Any of the queens or queen pupae could have created their own colony if they had lived.

"As far as we can tell, we got there just in time," said agency entomologist Sven Spichiger at a press conference last Tuesday.

"We know from the literature that a small percentage of these will go on to form colonies next year, should they have been given the chance to escape," he added.

Although the Asian giant hornet does kill as many as a few dozen people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the insect is called a "murder hornet" because of its propensity for killing honey bees by tearing their heads off.

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US
The first nest of "murder hornets" discovered in the United States, which was destroyed last month, contained about 200 queens that were capable of producing larvae, The Hill reports. Entomologists from the Washington State Department of Agriculture announced on Wednesday...
murder hornet, washington, asian giant hornet, nest, queens
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2020-43-11
Wednesday, 11 November 2020 02:43 PM
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