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'Attack of the Murder Hornets' documentary shows Washington's hunt for the invasive species

The documentary "Attack of the Murder Hornets" is available on Discovery+. It shows the work of scientists to find and eradicate the invasive Asian giant hornets.

WHATCOM COUNTY, Wash. — A newly released documentary focuses on the discovery of Asian giant hornets in Washington state and scientists pursuit to eradicate the invasive species.

The 90-minute film is called "Attack of the Murder Hornets," and it debuted on Discovery+ on Feb. 20. 

The Washington Department of Agriculture (WSDA) said a production crew spent six weeks in Washington last fall filming beekeepers, researchers, and WSDA staff for their documentary. 

By chance, the filming began the day before WSDA entomologist Chris Looney caught the first live Asian giant hornet in the U.S., WSDA said. 

The production crew also captured footage of WSDA entomologists discovering and eradicating the first Asian giant hornet nest discovered in the U.S. 

The WSDA said the film also shows the teamwork between government agencies and the public, including trapping work by members of the Mt. Baker Beekeeper Association, and other citizen scientists. 

"This film is an opportunity to educate people in an entertaining way about the work that is being done to prevent Asian giant hornets from establishing in the Pacific Northwest," said Sven Spichiger, WSDA managing entomologist, in a prepared statement. "Viewers will see some great shots of these hornets and the film does a good job showing how important the partnership between government agencies and the public has been to this effort."

The Asian giant hornet was first spotted in Washington state in 2019 in the town of Blaine. Ever since, WSDA has been working to hunt and eradicate the invasive species, which kills bees and takes the bee larvae to feed their own young.