Remember when we were all starting quarantine and scientists discovered giant Asian murder hornets had touched down on North American soil? Well, they’re still around, and researchers are trying to prevent them from establishing more nests in the United States as spring approaches.
According to CBS News, the Asian giant hornets, which are usually found in eastern Asia, were first sighted in North American when beekeepers discovered nests in Vancouver and Washington state. Now, more nests have been discovered in the Washington area, and scientists are trying to prevent the hornets from spreading further.
“This is not a species we want to tolerate here in the United States,” Washington state Department of Agriculture scientist Sven-Erik Spichiger said. “The Asian giant hornet is not supposed to be here.”
Spichiger helped dispel the hornets in the state last year, and facing this current threat, he said, “We may not get them all, but we will get as many as we can.” When scientists broke down the first nests found in North America, they found 500 live specimens, among them 200 queens.
Paul van Westendorp, a member of the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries said that the hornets pose a serious threat to the ecosystem they are found in.
“It’s an absolutely serious danger to our health and well-being,” he said. “These are intimidating insects.”
Scientists are currently laying hundreds of traps in Whatcom County, Washington to try and curtail the spread of nests in the area. It’s also still unclear where these hornets migrated from since they can be found in South Korea, Japan, and other countries.