The Asian giant hornet I’m holding in my hand is vivid orange and black, nearly as long as my pinky, with a stout armored body ending in a needle-like stinger. Its head is huge, even by wasp standards, with jagged, strong mandibles. Long antennae extend from its face, framed by dark, oval eyes.
On a table in front of me is the first “murder hornet” nest found in the United States, including dozens of its dead inhabitants, all removed from a tree in Blaine, Washington, in late October 2020. Separated into six combs with nearly 800 cells, it was found inside the hollow of an alder tree, holding around 400 adults and larvae. Nearly a hundred were adult queens, and about