Photos: First ever Asian giant hornets nest tracked down in the US

After months of meticulous tracking, authorities in the western US state of Washington on October 23 said they had uncovered the first ever nest of the deadly Asian giant hornet in the country. A day later, heavily protected crews wearing thick protective suits vacuumed the invasive insects from the cavity of a dead tree into large canisters. Despite their “murder hornet” nickname, the real threat they pose are their devastating attacks on honeybees, which are already under siege from problems like mites, diseases, pesticides and loss of food.

Updated On Oct 26, 2020 06:34 PM IST
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A Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) worker holds two Asian giant hornets on October 24 in Blaine. After spending weeks searching for the insects, trapping and tracking them using dental floss to tie tiny radio trackers, entomologists in the WSDA on October 23 discovered the first ever nest of giant “murder hornets” in the United States. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2020 06:34 PM IST

A Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) worker holds two Asian giant hornets on October 24 in Blaine. After spending weeks searching for the insects, trapping and tracking them using dental floss to tie tiny radio trackers, entomologists in the WSDA on October 23 discovered the first ever nest of giant “murder hornets” in the United States. (Elaine Thompson / AP)

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WSDA workers follow an Asian giant hornet wearing a tracker on October 22 near Blaine. The nest was found on a property near the border with Canada. “The successful detection of a nest comes after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets on October 21, caught in a new type of trap the agency had placed in the area,” the agency said in a statement. (Karla Salp / Washington Dept. of Agriculture via AP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2020 06:34 PM IST

WSDA workers follow an Asian giant hornet wearing a tracker on October 22 near Blaine. The nest was found on a property near the border with Canada. “The successful detection of a nest comes after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets on October 21, caught in a new type of trap the agency had placed in the area,” the agency said in a statement. (Karla Salp / Washington Dept. of Agriculture via AP)

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WSDA workers, wearing protective suits and working at dawn with red lamps, vacuum a nest of Asian giant hornets from a cavity in a dead tree on October 24 in Blaine. Scientists warn that unless the insect is eliminated, it could spread in North America and become permanently established. The hornets are known for decimating honeybee colonies. (Elaine Thompson / AFP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2020 06:34 PM IST

WSDA workers, wearing protective suits and working at dawn with red lamps, vacuum a nest of Asian giant hornets from a cavity in a dead tree on October 24 in Blaine. Scientists warn that unless the insect is eliminated, it could spread in North America and become permanently established. The hornets are known for decimating honeybee colonies. (Elaine Thompson / AFP)

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An Asian giant hornet taken from a nest on October 24 in Blaine, Washington. The stinging hornet, the world’s largest, can grow as large as 2-1/2 inches (6.4 cm) in length and is native to Southeast Asia, China and Taiwan. It was first discovered in the United States in December 2019 by a homeowner in Blaine. (Elaine Thompson / AFP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2020 06:34 PM IST

An Asian giant hornet taken from a nest on October 24 in Blaine, Washington. The stinging hornet, the world’s largest, can grow as large as 2-1/2 inches (6.4 cm) in length and is native to Southeast Asia, China and Taiwan. It was first discovered in the United States in December 2019 by a homeowner in Blaine. (Elaine Thompson / AFP)

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WSDA specialists suit up to eradicate a nest of Asian giant hornets on October 24. Asian giant hornets, usually don’t attack people but can deliver painful stings and spit venom . Aside from the danger to humans, the hornet presents a threat to agriculture that depends on bees for pollination and the apiary industry. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2020 06:34 PM IST

WSDA specialists suit up to eradicate a nest of Asian giant hornets on October 24. Asian giant hornets, usually don’t attack people but can deliver painful stings and spit venom . Aside from the danger to humans, the hornet presents a threat to agriculture that depends on bees for pollination and the apiary industry. (Elaine Thompson / AP)

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People look on as WSDA workers vacuum a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree on a property in Blaine on October 24. While it is unclear how the insect made its way to the US, scientists have been actively searching for nests since it was first detected. Canada has also found Asian giant hornets in two locations in neighbouring British Colombia. (Elaine Thompson / AFP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2020 06:34 PM IST

People look on as WSDA workers vacuum a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree on a property in Blaine on October 24. While it is unclear how the insect made its way to the US, scientists have been actively searching for nests since it was first detected. Canada has also found Asian giant hornets in two locations in neighbouring British Colombia. (Elaine Thompson / AFP)

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A WSDA entomologist fills a tree cavity with carbon dioxide after vacuuming a nest of Asian giant hornets from inside it, on October 24 in Blaine, Washington. (Elaine Thompson / AFP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2020 06:34 PM IST

A WSDA entomologist fills a tree cavity with carbon dioxide after vacuuming a nest of Asian giant hornets from inside it, on October 24 in Blaine, Washington. (Elaine Thompson / AFP)

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Sven Spichiger, WSDA managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest behind him on October 24 in Blaine. Several more of the invasive pest not native to the US were subsequently caught, all in the same region. The WSDA believes there was a good chance that there are more nests waiting to be found. (Elaine Thompson / AFP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2020 06:34 PM IST

Sven Spichiger, WSDA managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest behind him on October 24 in Blaine. Several more of the invasive pest not native to the US were subsequently caught, all in the same region. The WSDA believes there was a good chance that there are more nests waiting to be found. (Elaine Thompson / AFP)

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Sven Spichiger takes away a canister of Asian giant hornets on October 24 in Blaine, Washington. In Japan, where the insects are hunted and eaten, some 30 to 50 people die each year from their venomous and excruciating sting. (AP)
Updated on Oct 26, 2020 06:34 PM IST

Sven Spichiger takes away a canister of Asian giant hornets on October 24 in Blaine, Washington. In Japan, where the insects are hunted and eaten, some 30 to 50 people die each year from their venomous and excruciating sting. (AP)

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