US crews obliterate basketball-sized 'murder hornet' nest in Washington

Murder hornets’ stings can be fatal to humans, and they’re capable of killing thousands of bees. If left to spread, they can wreak havoc on the food chain. 

That’s why US officials are racing to capture the Asian giant hornet - the so-called "murder hornet" - after the first known nest was found in Seattle, Washington.

It comes several months after the US first found the insect on its shores. 

The capture was weeks in the making, with entomologists attaching a tag to the hornet with dental floss, hoping one would lead them to the nest. 

Sven Spichiger, Washington State Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, said the insect then led them back to where they’d come from. 

“Only a few Asian giant hornets can take out 30,000 healthy honey bees in just a matter of a few hours,” he said.

Authorities then sealed off the basketball-sized nest, then vacuumed more than 100 of the pests out.