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First Asian giant hornets discovered in U.S. arrive in Maryland for research, preservation

ARS research entomologist Matt Buffington (Left) and Smithsonian NMNH Bio-repository technician, Daniel DiMichele inspect an Asian Giant Hornet just received frozen from Washington State.
Posted at 12:26 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-17 12:26:43-05

BELTSVILLE, Md. — The Agricultural Research Service in Prince George's County has taken in five Asian giant hornets for purposes of preservation and research.

Measuring two-inches long, the hornets arrived flash frozen, after being discovered and removed from a tree in Washington State on October 24.

The discovery was the first in the United States.

"Our plan is to do fundamental population genetic studies to help establish the baseline genetic signature of nest zero," said ARS research entomologist Matt Buffington said. "This data will go into a comparative framework that will help researchers try and understand where in Asia the members of this nest may have come from and if future finds are from different areas or are related to this nest. Another ARS group is leading this genomic research."