Researchers at Washington State University say they have provided beekeepers another tool in the fight against Asian giant hornet. WSU Postdoctoral Researcher Kelly Kulhanek teamed up with Associate Professor Brandon Hopkins to create Distinguishing Asian Giant Hornet Damage to Honey Bee Colonies, a fact sheet that is free to download through the WSU Extension.


"The idea behind this fact sheet is to help beekeepers really specifically diagnose whether damage to their colonies is from Asian giant hornet or from something else."

Kulhanek said beekeepers across the state are concerned for their colonies, but are confusing damage from yellow jackets and ants with the destruction left behind by the Murder Hornet. She said the hope is this one sheet will clear up a few things.

"To do this we use very specific symptoms of Asian giant predation that will only happen when Asian giant hornet is present to help beekeepers kind of narrow things down and really ease their minds."

Asian giant hornets attack in two phases. In the first phase, honeybees are picked off by Asian giant hornets and carried away to the hive to be fed on. Phase two is known as the 'slaughter phase', where a large group of hornets attack the beehive to feed on the colony directly. The colony is usually decimated after the second attack. Beekeepers worried about Asian giant hornet attack can take at least one precaution. Restrictive netting or screens can be put up around a colony, as the hornets are much larger than honeybees. To date there have been no confirmed colony kills by Asian giant hornet in the Pacific Northwest.

The publication can be found on the WSU Extension's Website. For more resources on the Asian giant hornet, visit the Washington State Department of Agriculture's Website

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