Scientists from the Washington State Department of Agriculture say they’ve found the first so-called live murder hornet for the year.
In a news release Thursday, entomologists say the Asian giant hornet was seen about a kilometre from the U.S.-Canada border.
They say the hornet was reported by a Whatcom County resident on Wednesday and confirmed the following day where a photograph showed it attacking a paper wasp nest, about three kilometres from where the department eradicated a nest last October.
They say U.S. and B.C. officials will be setting up traps in the area to catch a live hornet, tag it and track it back to its nest.
The five-centimetre-long invasive insects are the world’s biggest hornets and prey on honey bees and other hornets — a small group can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours.
While they are not particularly aggressive toward humans, in rare cases a person stung repeatedly by murder hornets could die.
The first Asian Hornets’ nest ever discovered in North America was found and destroyed in Nanaimo in 2019.
Filed by the Canadian Press.