Hornets are most destructive in the late summer and early fall, when they are on the hunt for sources of protein to raise next year’s queens. V. mandarinia attack honey bee hives, killing adult bees and devouring bee larvae and pupae, while aggressively defending the occupied colony. Their stings are big and painful, with a potent neurotoxin. Multiple stings can kill humans, even if they are not allergic.
WSU scientists are now spreading awareness of the hornet to citizens and have developed a fact sheet to help people identify and safely encounter the insects. As partners with the Washington Invasive Species Council, they also urge citizens to download the WA Invasives smartphone app for quick reporting of sightings.
What can you do to help?
To report an Asian Giant Hornet sighting, contact the Washington State Department of Agriculture Pest Program at 1‑800‑443‑6684, firstname.lastname@example.org or online at https://agr.wa.gov/hornets.
For questions about protecting honey bees from hornets, contact WSU Extension scientist Tim Lawrence at (360) 639-6061 or email@example.com.
WSDA: Pest Alert Asian Giant Hornet (with fillable report form)
WSDA Sizing up Asian Giant Hornet #846 (size comparison)
WSDA Asian Giant Hornet – More Information (PowerPoint presentation as PDF)
Asian Giant Hornet – WSU Extension Publication (under review, 5/2020)
Photos courtesy of WSDA. Text By Seth Truscott, College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, Insider, Food & Agriculture, April 6, 2020
Additional resources provided by WSU Extension Whatcom County.