British Columbia and U.S. federal and state agencies will work together to track, trap and eradicate Asian giant hornets in the Pacific Northwest. The Asian giant hornet species was first spotted in Northwest Washington in 2019 and agencies have since been on the hunt for the invasive hornets. The hornets, known by many as Murder Hornets, kill bees and take bee larvae to feed their own young.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture announced Monday that the agencies made international plans this year similar to the state’s response last year, including public outreach, reporting and trapping. A hornets nest was discovered and eradicated in October 2020 in Washington’s Whatcom County. Experts believe there are more nests in the region and will focus traps in the county.
The Washington state agency will continue using orange juice and rice cooking wine in traps this year, while citizens can use either orange juice or a brown sugar-based bait, officials said. Residents in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, Island, Jefferson, and Clallam counties have been encouraged to make their own traps starting in July.
Half of the confirmed reports of the species in the state last year and all of the reports about the hornets in British Columbia came from members of the public. A hornet surveillance program in British Columbia will set up traps in areas where there were previous findings and keep up outreach with beekeepers and partner agencies, officials said.
Washington State University, the USDA’s APHIS as well as ARS are also conducting research to support hornet detection and eradication efforts.
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