Another Asian giant hornet, commonly known as the murder hornet, was discovered on the Lower Mainland.
The B.C. government said in a press release that a single Asian giant hornet was found near the Fraser Highway and Highway 13 in Aldergrove on Nov. 7.
The hornet was discovered about five kilometres away from where another one was found in Abbotsford on Nov. 2.
“Both findings are thought to coincide with a phase in the hornets’ life cycle in which they disperse from their nests to look for new hornets to mate with,” the release states.
Asian giant hornets feed on honeybees and other larger insects and are capable of destroying hives in short order. Unlike other wasps or bees, these hornets establish their nests on the ground and forage as far away as eight kilometres.
Most commonly found in China, the Korean peninsula, and northern Japan, the hornets first appeared in British Columbia last year. The first discoveries were in Nanaimo, but they have since been found in Fraser Valley and the Lower Mainland.
Recently, entomologists in Washington state successfully eradicated an Asian giant hornet nest after finding numerous single hornets in and around Blaine, Wash.
The provincial government says survey efforts are ongoing in the Fraser Valley and have focused on “surveillance and trap monitoring.”
No nests have been discovered in the Fraser Valley.
According to the University of Michigan, these hornets are the largest in the world, ranging from 1.38 inches to 2.17 inches in size, and have venomous stingers that are typically a quarter-inch long.
Being stung can be painful and if stung multiple times, can result in death.
In 2013, 41 people were killed and more than 1,600 were injured after being stung by Asian giant hornets in China, according to state-run media.
However, the provincial government says these pests are typically not interested in humans, pets or other large animals.
“Asian giant hornets hunt insects for food and will attack people only when their nest is disturbed,” the release said.
Anyone who spots an Asian giant hornet can report them to the Invasive Species Council of B.C. at 1-888-933-3722 or online at https://bcinvasives.ca/report.