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Washington officials trap male Asian giant hornet

| August 17, 2020 3:42 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Officials in Washington state have trapped a male Asian giant hornet, the first male detected in the United States.

The Washington state Department of Agriculture said Monday the hornet was found in a trap near the town of Custer in northwestern Washington's Whatcom County.

That's the same area where a queen Asian giant hornet was found dead earlier this year.

The agency will set traps in the area to try and trap a live specimen, tag it, and track it back to its nest. If found, the agency said it will destroy the nest.

This is the second Asian giant hornet caught in a WSDA trap. The first was found on July 14 and identified as an unmated queen. A total of seven Asian giant hornets have been detected in the state, all in Whatcom County.

The Asian giant hornet, the world’s largest at 2 inches, can decimate entire hives of honeybees and deliver a painful sting to humans. Farmers in the northwest depend on those honey bees to pollinate many crops.

The invasive insect was first documented in the state late last year and officials have said it’s not known how it arrived in North America. It normally lives in eastern and southeast Asia.