Invasive Honey Bee Predator Found in Washington State
The Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, has been seen in Washington state, say scientists from Washington State University. The 2-inch-long hornet is a significant predator of honey bees, and its sting can pose a health risk for humans. The insect is native to the forests and low mountains of eastern and southeast Asia, where it feeds on large insects. The hornets attack honey bee hives, killing adult bees and devouring bee larvae and pupae. Washington state fruit growers are concerned that beekeepers will be reluctant to provide bee pollination services in areas where the hornet has been seen. Scientists with the WSDA Pest Program are taking the lead on finding, trapping, and eradicating the pest, and they ask citizens to notify them of sightings using the WA Invasives app.