RFID-Technology Helps Locate and Eliminate Monster Hornets

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RFID-Technology Helps Locate and Eliminate Monster Hornets

Officials in Washington State announced on Saturday that they had removed the first murder hornet nest in the United States with the help of RFID-technology. The nest was found and removed in Blaine, Wash. near the Canadian border. The search had taken on particular urgency as the Asian giant hornets were about to enter their “slaughter phase”, during which they kill honeybees by decapitating them.

They’re the world’s largest hornets, and finding them on this continent was alarming since they’ve been a scourge in their native regions of Asia and the Russian Far East for decades.
According to Sven-Erik Spichiger, the managing entomologist at the Washington State Department of Agriculture, RFID-technology and AI played leading roles in tracking and eradicating the first giant hornets’ nest.

The colony was located in a region of forests and farmland, after officials attached radio trackers to three trapped hornets with the help of some glue and lengths of dental floss. One of those led them to the nest, which was about eight feet up in a tree.

Workers wearing thick white suits with rubber gloves and boots as well as face shields filled the tree hollow with foam and then wrapped the nest it in plastic foil before using an industrial vacuum cleaner to extract hundreds of mature hornets. Among them they found 200 queen hornets who could have gone on to establish their own colonies. At least for now, it seems, the spread of the dreaded invasive species has been halted.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: Washington State Dep. of Agriculture

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