B.C. warns of Asian giant hornets returning in the next few weeks

B.C. warns of Asian giant hornets returning in the next few weeks
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Asian giant hornets are larger than regular hornets and have large orange heads and black eyes

The provincial government is warning the public that Asian giant hornets are likely to emerge from their nests in the coming weeks.

The Asian giant hornet was first found in British Columbia last August in Nanaimo.

According to the provincial government, a group of local beekeepers successfully eradicated the nest using carbon dioxide and removed the hornets, along with the queen, one month after they were discovered.

Now, the Ministry of Agriculture is warning the public that the insects may resurface.

“In December 2019, two specimens were found near Blaine, Wash., and a single specimen was found in White Rock in November 2019,” said a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture. “These findings indicate a probability that nesting hornets are overwintering in the area.”

The Ministry says hornets use wooded habitat for nesting grounds, much like the area along the Canada-U.S. border, and residents along 0 avenue between Surrey and Aldergrove.

The provincial apiculturist will place hornet traps in the area and distribute pest-alert notices to those residents as they are expected to see the hornets first.

Compared to other hornets, Asian giant hornets are larger, with a approximately 3.5 centimetres in length, with the queen growing up to 5cm long with a maximum wingspan of 7cm. They have large orange heads with black eyes.

While these hornets are generally not interested in humans, they are classified as a serious honeybee predator. If their nest is disturbed they can retaliate with painful stings which can be hazardous to people’s health.

Anyone who think they may have seen an Asian giant hornet are asked to report it to the Invasive Species Council of BC on their website, on the “Report Invasives” mobile app, or by phone at 1-8880-933-3722.

Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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