UPDATE on the “Murder Hornet” in Washington State
For the first time since the northern giant hornet was initially spotted in our state, the Washington State Department of Agriculture did not trap or confirm any sightings of the large hornets in 2022. This news was first spread to the media in December of last year.
Even though this is great, the invasive hornet is still not yet officially eradicated.
Our friends from WSDA require three consecutive years without a confirmed detection to declare the hornets completely gone.
Since (at the time of the writing) we are halfway through 2023 - Washington State and British Columbia are now halfway to official eradication status of the newly named Northern Giant Hornet. (formerly known at the “Murder Hornet.”)
Back in late 2019, Washington State and British Columbia officials both feared that the newly arrived hornets, native to Asia, would mow through our native honey bee hives if they were to get established. Just a few hornets can destroy an entire hive in a “matter of hours,” (SOURCE: WSDA.)
So let’s play through a worst case scenario:
The big nasty Northern Giant Hornet gets established in our state - It is on record, that Bees in Japan learned how to defend and wage some serious counter measures against the huge hornets.
They use their numbers to overcome the larger invaders. The Japanese honey bees swarmed around an individual hornet, overheating and suffocating the giant hornet.
As it stands, the North American honey bee, vital to the fruit production process of our orchard trees, haven’t learned to defend themselves from this new threat. Let's all hope that they never have to learn the brutal tools of war.
As of now, the entomologists at WSDA are still on alert. You, the public, are asked to keep an eye out for the northern giant hornet and report any sightings.
Click this link if you have a sighting of the Northern Giant Hornet: Hornet Watch Report Form You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-443-6684.
Here’s an award winning documentary, on the war recently waged against the hornet invaders called Nest Zero.
INFO SOURCE: WSDA.gov
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