'Memba those murder hornets, and their TWO queens found in a Washington State nest? Turns out that was just the tip of the hive ... because there could be a lot more queens out there.
The WA State Department of Agriculture now says the nest they recently eradicated near had A LOT more queen hornets inside than they originally thought ... closer to 200 rather than just a measly 2. Big difference!!!
You'll recall that after an initial sweep in late October, the team went out there again when they realized they were short a female hornet ... which they believed might still be inside. They chopped down the tree in question and ended up finding two ladies in the nest -- one new and one old, they say -- plus a crap ton of larvae in different stages of development.
Welp, the WSDA now says there were actually up to 500 live specimens in the trunk -- 76 were fully developed virgin queens, 190 larvae, 108 pupae (next after larvae, almost all of which were queens) ... AND 112 worker hornets. That was the haul from this one job.
One WSDA official is quoted as saying the team got there "just in the nick of time" -- and, yeah, you can say that again. But, it leaves a major terrifying question ... how many other queens (or queens in development) might still be buzzing around, and how far did they travel???
The scientists there aren't oblivious to that -- they say they do believe there might be more nests in the area, but aren't sure where just yet. They also say they're going to scour that area for at least 3 more years to make sure the hornets are fully wiped out.
Let's hope the murder hornet containment efforts go better than the ones for coronavirus did. Just sayin' ...