They were poised to start their own colonies.
Entomologists in Washington state may have destroyed a “murder hornet” nest in the nick of time, preventing as many as 200 new queens from establishing new nests.
The nest, the first-ever discovered in the United States, was destroyed on Oct. 24. State Department of Agriculture employees vacuumed the invasive hornets from the nest and found only worker hornets. Five days later, though, after they’d removed the nest from its tree and cracked it open, they found 76 live queens and 108 more still developing in their tiny cell capsules.