SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — When scientists destroyed the first nest of so-called murder hornets found in the U.S., they discovered about 500 live specimens in various stages of development.
Washington state officials said Tuesday that the total included nearly 200 queens that had the potential to start their nests.
Still, that didn't end the threat from the giant insects that can deliver painful though rarely deadly stings to people and wipe out entire hives of honey bees.
Scientists think other nests already exist and say it's impossible to know if any queens escaped before scientists destroyed the first nest.
According to the Associated Press, in the first nest back in October, researchers found:
—190 total larvae.
—76 queens, most of them being new virgin queens.
According to experts, a few dozen people a year in Asian countries have died from them, despite their nickname, and it could be far less than that, the AP reported.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in comparison, in the U.S., typical hornets, wasps, and bees kill an average of 62 people a year.