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Dispatches Quick Takes

Quinlyn Baine/Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP

(Quinlyn Baine/Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP)

Quick Takes

Barbarous bugs

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has issued a foreboding warning about the frightening invasion of so-called murder hornets. According to department entomologist Sven-Erik Spichiger, the invasive population of hornets is preparing to attack honeybee colonies and decapitate all the worker bees they encounter. “Asian giant hornets this time of year start going into what we call the slaughter phase,” Spichiger said during an Oct. 2 press event. The first of the 1¾-inch hornets were spotted in Blaine, Wash., along the Canadian border last December. Between late September and early October, department officials and local residents discovered six more of the giant hornets near Blaine, far away from their natural territory in East Asia and Japan.

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