Mayfield: Cooperation and communication is what got rid of Murder Hornets

Dec 7, 2022, 7:54 AM | Updated: 9:53 am
Asian giant hornet, murder hornet...
A so-called 'murder hornet' captured in Whatcom County. (WSDA)

Congratulations are in order for the folks at our state’s Department of Agriculture. Why? They didn’t catch a single Murder Hornet in Washington all year.

Wait, if they didn’t do something, why are we congratulating them?

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Because it means those four massive nests found and destroyed by the team at AG since 2019 paid off! They may have gotten this dangerous and invasive species before it really took hold here.

And if you are curious, they were looking hard this year. They set over 1,000 traps, all of which turned up empty.

The insects – formally known as Asian Giant Hornets – are the world’s largest hornets, with queens as big as your palm. Their sting is incredibly painful, and if they swarm, they can kill a human, but that’s very rare. They are nicknamed murder hornets because they aggressively kill other bee and hornet species by decapitation.

As soon as one of the murder hornets showed up in Whatcom County several years ago, the state went into emergency mode. They tracked down nests and wore these incredible protective suits that looked like the stay-puff marshmallow man to annihilate them.

The Deptartment of Agriculture folks also worked closely with counterparts in British Columbia and with the public, who were asked to keep our eyes and ears open for the killer pests.

When announcing this news the state was very modest and wanted to ensure we all knew the Murder Hornet cannot be considered officially eradicated until we go three years without seeing one, and this is just one year.

Still, credit where credit is due. This is a win. They used facts, cooperation, and honest communication, and it was that combination that solved the problem.

Funny how that works, think we could do that for other problems now too?

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Mayfield: Cooperation and communication is what got rid of Murder Hornets