Of Course: America's First Known Murder Hornet Nest Appears, and It's Big as a Basketball

Karla Salp/Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP

 

Are you ready to live in a nation where murder hornets nest?

Ready or not, here they co– oh, wait, nevermind. They’re dead.

So far as we know.

In the wee hours Saturday, the first and only known nest in the United States was undone.

The invasive species — which hunts honey bees and whose sting can kill a person — was taken down by another crafty predator: humans.

On October 21st, two of the up-to-two-inch terrors were trapped in the Pacific Northwest.

Two more were caught the next day.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture distracted at least one with jam while a transmitter was attached with dental floss. In all, three of the injurious insects were tracked.

Although the asian critters normally live in the ground, they sometimes make a home of dead trees.

Such an inviting abode sat on private property near an area that’d been cleared for residential construction.

Around 4 p.m. on the 22nd, it was there that one of the big bugs led experts to a hive the size of a basketball.

What happened next sucked.

WSDA staff vacuumed out what were estimated to be 200 hornets. Workers were prepared to remove the entire tree if necessary.

Here’s a little more of the process via the Daily Mail:

Sven-Erik Spichiger, an entomologist for the Agriculture Department, on Friday outlined the careful plan for Saturday’s extermination.
The cavity of the tree was filled with foam and covered with plastic wrap to prevent the hornets from escaping.
Then, a tube was inserted to vacuum up the hornets trapped inside and deposit them in a collection chamber.

Stone-cold Sven-Erik served up an 80’s action movie-styled statement:

‘We extract them alive. We will kill them.’

Once the hornets were removed, the cavity was filled with carbon dioxide and the tree wrapped in plastic.

It will later be cut down to remove newborns and discover whether any queens had already left.

On Facebook, the WSDA summed up things in two words:

“Got ’em.”

But it’s unlikely this was the only nest. Officials expect more in the area.

Sven-Erik said the stalking will continue:

“It’s still a very small population, and we are actively hunting them.”

So there ya go — we should expect no less of 2020. We’ve contracted a foreign virus and been invaded by tiny terrorists.

The Mail dropped some science:

[The murder hornet] administers seven times more venom than a honeybee when it stings. This acts as a neurotoxin and can lead to seizures and cardiac arrests,

But don’t focus too much on the wicked winged warriors — as I reported in May, “Move Over, Murder Hornets – Beware the Coronavirus Cannibal Rat.”

2020, we’re just over 60 days away from exterminating you.

-ALEX

 

See more pieces from me:

Flight to Crazytown: All Heck Breaks Loose on a Plane to New York, and It’s a Masterful Metaphor for America

Priorities: Awash in Problems, California Eyes Giving Power at the Polls to Younger Teens

LA Times Heralds Megachurch’s ‘Outbreak’ of COVID in Defiance of Lockdown, and It’s an Insane Use of the Term

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