'Murder Hornet' Found In Washington State

WBBM Newsradio Staff
May 29, 2020 - 7:19 pm
Asian Giant Hornet

Asian giant hornet (Washington Department of Agriculture)

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The type of bee-killing hornet that drew wide attention in the U.S. recently has been spotted in Washington state. 

The state’s Department of Agriculture says an eagle-eyed resident saw a dead specimen of an Asian giant hornet this week and alerted the agency. 

The large insects are known as “Murder Hornets” in Japan. It’s the first confirmed sighting this year of one of the specimens in Washington state.

“At this time, there is no evidence that Asian giant hornets are established in Washington State or anywhere else in the United States,” Osama El-Lissy, a federal expert, said in a news release posted Friday. 

Asian giant hornets are of concern because they attack the hives of honey bees. The hornets are also potentially dangerous to humans.

“Their string is more dangerous than that of local bees and wasps and can cause severe pain, swelling, necrosis, and, in rare cases, even death,” the Washington agriculture department said.

Officials in Washington are trying to determine if the hornets have established colonies. They say they have a strategy to eradicate the insects, if necessary.

Reports about the possible U.S. arrival of murder hornets surfaced recently, but some experts said the potential threat had been hyped. 

Giant Asian Hornet
This Asian giant hornet was found, dead, in Washington state (Washington Department of Agriculture)