Tech Tech News Photos: Tree deep in Asian giant hornet nest, entomologists get well ‘chewed...

Photos: Tree deep in Asian giant hornet nest, entomologists get well ‘chewed off’ radio tracker
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Washington State Department of Agriculture personnel comb by the log containing an Asian giant hornet on Friday. (WSDA Photos)

Just in time for Halloween, the Washington State Department of Agriculture is revealing simply what was inside a really haunted home, or nest.

Early Friday, entomologists from the WSDA Pest Program minimize open the tree which was home to a nest of Asian giant hornets, or so-called “murder hornets,” which had turn out to be a frightful reality close to Blaine, Wash., before being eradicated last weekend.

The cellophane-wrapped log was sawed open inside a walk-in cooler on the Washington State University Puyallup Research and Extension Center in hopes that cooler temps would make any hornets that remained alive much less cell.

PREVIOUSLY: UW researcher put tiny monitoring expertise on giant hornets to assist state deal with murderous pest

Last Saturday, in space-age looking bee suits, state personnel vacuumed 85 hornets out of the tree. They had been led to its location — the first such discovery of an Asian giant hornet nest within the U.S. — after trapping and tagging a hornet with a tiny radio transmitter.

On Friday, the workforce collected more live hornets, grownup specimens together with both new queens and staff had been nonetheless within the nest. Several larvae had been recovered and white-capped cells contained growing adults.

A radio tag that was beforehand hooked up to a hornet and led to the nest.
A hornet inside the nest.

A radio tag that had been tied with dental floss to a beforehand trapped hornet — and finally led to the nest’s location — was also found inside the tree. WSDA reported that the tiny monitoring machine appeared to have been chewed off.

WSDA plans to spend a number of days recording data such as the number and caste of grownup specimens, the number and measurement of the nest cells, total nest measurement, weight and length of collected specimens, and more. The data shall be made publicly out there when it’s complete and shall be posted to the state’s Asian giant hornet webpage.

The Asian giant hornet is the world’s largest species of hornet. The first-ever sightings occurred within the U.S. in December in Northwest Washington state. The hornets are known to attack and destroy honeybee hives throughout a “slaughter phase” the place they kill bees by decapitating them.

WSDA will proceed to look out for the pest. Citizen scientist trappers in Washington’s Whatcom, Skagit, Island, and San Juan counties are retaining traps up for one more month or so.

See more photographs:

Larvae inside the nest.
The radio tracker, with a dental floss lasso.

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