May 29, 2020 – update. The Washington State Department of Agriculture reported on their website that the first US Vespa mandarinia of 2020 was detected near Custer, WA on May 27 by a resident. It was a queen, consistent with the stage that would have overwintered. The locations indicate a localized infestation – i.e. it is highly unlikely the species will be detected outside the Pacific NW this year. Here’s a link to a video press conference (click).
May 28, 2020 – The New York Times reports two confirmed collections of Vespa mandarinia in May 2020. One in British Columbia, Canada near Langley, and the other in Washington state. Both are locations in the Pacific northwest relatively close to the original discovery in Washington State although apparently farther north and south than originally expected. Odds are that the species is established, but “hope springs eternal”. While not yet published it appears there is genetic evidence of at least two separate introductions.
Deja vu anyone??