WASHINGTON

Murder-Hornet Sightings in Washington Prompt Search for Nest Before They ‘Slaughter' Honeybees

The search for the nests gains urgency ahead of the “slaughter phase,” when there is a rise in hornets' attacks on honeybees that are crucial for pollinating food crops

ELAINE THOMPSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Evidence of six sightings of Asian giant hornets, known as murder hornets, in Washington state have prompted an urgent search for a possible nest, NBC News reports.

State agriculture officials are working to find and destroy a nest before the hornets enter their "slaughter phase," when they kill honeybees, which are crucial for pollinating some of the state's staple crops, such as raspberries and blueberries.

Murder hornets' attacks on honeybee hives tend to increase around this time of the year, said Sven-Erik Spichiger, a department entomologist, during a virtual news conference Friday.

Many farmers in northwestern states depend on honeybees to pollinate their crops.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com

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