Asian Giant Hornet
As most have heard in recent news, Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia) have found their way into the United States. Although not aggressive towards humans, these hornets present an additional threat to honey bees. The first siting in the United States was on 8 Dec 2019 by a resident in Blaine, Washington. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) confirmed its identity as an Asian Hornet. This insect has not been found in Virginia or in the U.S. outside of Washington state.
While Asian hornets feast on a variety of insects, they do have an appetite for honey bees. These hornets will attack individual honey bees throughout the season; however, in the summer and early fall, they become very aggressive against the entire hive. A few hornets will attack the entire hive, then take over the hive and begin taking the brood back to their own colony to feed their young.