EXPERTS in the US are preparing for the arrival of new murder hornet queens "snuggled in" for their Winter hibernation, despite killing 200 this year.
Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is taking down their Asian murder hornet traps after a buzzing nest of 500 hornets – including 200 queens – was vacuumed in Whatcom County back in October.Officials are already preparing for Asian Murder Hornet queens to come back in the springCredit: AFP The killer insects die off or hibernate during the colder snap Credit: Getty Images - Getty A pest biologist and trapping supervisor from WSDA pours the waste from a trap designed to catch Asian Giant Hornets, also known as murder hornets, through a strainer on July 29Credit: Getty Images - Getty Experts are seen here in protective suits wrapping a tree in plastic after working to eradicate a nest inside of Asian giant hornets last month in Blaine, SeattleCredit: AP:Associated Press
The giant wasps either die off or hibernate during the colder snap – and some had been "prison tagged" in the United States with radio trackers following their arrival here late last year to find and eradicate them.
WSDA spokeswoman Karla Salp told CNN."This time of year the workers and the drones that may have emerged from a nest would be dying and the new queens would be overwintering.
"This means the queens find a nice little hole in the ground and snuggle in for the winter."
The WSDA confirmed that this festive season would be spent preparing for the bugs' 2021 debut when the killer queens come out of hibernation mode and brave experts begin to exterminate them once more.
Entomologists at the department are now assessing the traps they're using and building upon its impressive citizen trapping program as they prepare for a spring resurgence.Experts in protective suits and working in pre-dawn darkness illuminated with red lamps, vacuum a nest of Asian giant hornets from a tree on October 24Credit: AFP Sven Spichiger, Washington State Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, smiles as he walks with a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from the nest in Blaine, WACredit: AFP An Asian giant hornet nest was found in Whatcom County, Washington, last monthCredit: AP:Associated Press The insects also use their jaws to saw through protective clothingCredit: PA:Press Association
The WSDA said a small group of them can kill an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours while experts at Washington State University found that small stings can also kill humans with a single excruciating sting.
"They were attacked by numerous hornets," Rush County Coroner Ron Jarman said. "Larry was stung over 40 times and shortly after began to have issues with shortness of breath and collapsed in the woods."
The world's largest hornet is two inches and is a major threat to the ecosystem if they become established over several years.
In Japan, the hornet's native country, the insects kill around 50 people each year.
During the year, experts advised Americans to use caution near the insects and not attempt to remove or eradicate nests themselves.Washington State Department of Agriculture workers disconnect hoses from a cannister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a tree on October 24Credit: AFP Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybeesCredit: AFP Asian hornets can give you a nasty sting Asian hornets were first spotted in the US in Washington during December of 2019Credit: Alamy Honeybees sitting in a hive: Asian Hornets can kill up to 50 bees a day This map shows the hornets' projected new territory around the world and in EuropeCredit: Professor Franck Courchamp
Doctor explains effects of murder hornets' sting on humans