Murder Hornet

Volunteers Set out Traps

Project Metric

22Traps set across Island County, WA by Sound Water Stewards See Our Impact

In 2019, Washington State saw the first Giant Hornets found in the United States. Unfortunately, this non-native species is a threat to local honey bee colonies. Just a handful of these hornets can attack and destroy a bee colony in a matter of hours (thus they are sometimes called murder hornets). They then take over the hive as their own. This issue is a threat to the environment and economy (WSDA, 2021).

Asian Giant Hornet Trap

As of 2020, the Washington Department of Agriculture started a widespread trapping project calling on community members from Whatcom, Skagit, Island, San Juan, Snohomish, King, Jefferson, and Clallam counties to help set up traps for the invasive Northern Giant Hornets. Sound Water Stewards value native pollinators and have been assisting partner organizations with this meaningful project. Stewards have set up traps at 17 locations on Whidbey Island and 5 sites on Camano.

Our volunteers check, strain, clean, and re-bait the traps weekly for 22 weeks from July to November. If any invasive Northern Giant Hornets are found, they report them to WSDA. The bait is a combination of fresh rice cooking wine and orange juice. This special mixture is known to attract hornets and is less likely to attract bees, helping to keep our native pollinators safe.

Are you interested in learning more? WSDA is dedicated to working with the public and to providing information. Contact hornets@agr.wa.gov if you are interested in learning more about Northern Giant Hornets.