Tech once again passed the test in helping to track another giant Asian hornet nest in Washington State.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture said on Thursday that it had found its first nest in 2021 about a week after a resident near Blaine, Washington discovered an invasion of a so-called “murder bumblebee”.
The agency gained international attention last year for its efforts to find and eradicate the nests of these insects.
WSDA worked with representatives from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to find new nests in rural Whatcom County, about a quarter mile after bumblebees were found attacking paper wasp nests on August 12. 11. The nest is located at the bottom of a tree.
According to a WSDA press release, The three bumblebees were caught in the net, marked with a radio tracker, and released this week between August 11 and Tuesday. One bumblebee slipped out of its tracking device, the other was never found, and the last bumblebee led the team to the nest.
A WSDA tracking team and others began searching the area at 7:30 am on Thursday morning and found the nest around 9:15 am
WSDA said it will develop a plan to eliminate the nest by next week.
A high-tech insect tracking method was adopted last year, involving some equipment insights and guidance from researchers at the University of Washington.
“Teamwork is the key to the success of this work,” WSDA managing entomologist Sven Spichiger said in a statement. “Whether it is publicly reporting sightings and setting traps, or the cooperation of state and federal agencies, this is indeed a model of successful invasive species management.”
The Asian hornet is not native to the United States, but the largest hornet species in the world. The first sighting occurred in December 2019 in northwestern Washington State, USA. As we all know, bumblebees will attack and destroy the hives of bees in the “slaughter stage”. In this stage, they kill the bees by beheading. A small group of Asian hornets can kill an entire bee hive in a few hours.
In June, a dead bumblebee was reported near Marysville in Snohomish County, Washington, but WSDA believes it was an old male bumblebee from the previous season.
WSDA has one Dedicated page Used to report bumblebee sightings.