Washington state Department of Agriculture warns of “killing bumblebees” as it begins “slaughter phase”

Asian bumblebees, nicknamed “killer bumblebees,” were found last year in Washington state, and they have not disappeared,media CNET reported. In fact, they may soon enter search and destroy mode. It is important to note that only six Asian bumblebees have been caught, trapped or reported since they were first discovered in Washington state on September 21 last year. However, the hide-and-seek of the “killer bumblebees” — their nests — was never found or destroyed.

Initially, researchers at the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) tried to stick a radio tag on a live “killer bumblebee” in the hope that they could follow it back to its nest. Unfortunately, the glue entered the bumblebee’s wings, which meant the bumblebee could not fly home.

Therefore, WSDA needs help finding the nest in order to kill the remaining “killer bumblebees” before they transition to a more aggressive mode: the “slaughter phase”.

On October 2, WSDA entomologist Sven-Erik Spichiger told the Seattle Times that “Asian bumblebees are beginning to enter what we call the slaughter phase at this time.” “They visit the hives, basically mark them, attack aggressively, remove each bee from the hive, kill all the worker bees, and then harvest the larvae and larvae in the hive over the next few days as a food source.”

WSDA is still looking for the location of Asian bumblebees in a variety of ways. They placed bait hives around Birch Bay as bait. Nearby is where Washington state’s first Asian bumblebee was trapped in the summer.

WSDA stresses that if people find Asian bumblebees flying around in their backyards, don’t be aggressive and don’t try to kill them yourself.

“Track it, don’t beat it,” Spichiger said. “We want to take the nest out so there won’t be more next year.”

The Vespa Mandarinia is described as 1.5 inches to 2 inches long, with an orange head and black stripes on its abdomen. Because of its size, the insect is quite easy to spot.

The department wants anyone who sees any potential Asian bumblebees to report it to them so researchers can better determine where the insect is hiding before the “slaughter phase” begins.

The discovery of the murder of bumblebees can be reported in a variety of ways. Report using the Bumblebee Watch Report Form or hornets@agr.wa.gov e-mail. If you can’t use email or the Internet, people can call (800) 443-6684.

Beekeepers should call (360) 902-1880 and let the department know where the bumblebee is flying if they find that the hive may have been attacked by a murdered bumblebee, so that the hive can be found more quickly.