Another giant, invasive hornet found in B.C. agriculture area

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LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA, B.C. — An Asian giant hornet has been found near Langley, B.C., about five kilometres away from where another so-called murder hornet was discovered last week.

The provincial Agriculture Ministry says in a release that both findings are thought to coincide with a phase in the hornets' life cycle where they leave their nests looking for mates.

It says five of the giant, invasive hornets have been found in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland since 2019 as a result of public reports, while a nest was destroyed in Nanaimo last year.

The first nest to be discovered in the United States was also destroyed last month near Blaine, Wash., not far from the border with B.C.

The state's agriculture department says in a statement posted Tuesday that scientists collected more than 500 giant hornet specimens in various stages of development from the nest, including 76 queens.

It says it's likely all but one would have been so-called "virgin queens," which emerge from the nest to mate before leaving to find a place to spend the winter and start a new colony the following year.

The department says in a statement that it's aiming to eradicate the hornets from the Pacific Northwest in co-operation with authorities in Canada.

"The effort will take required international co-operation, research for better detection tools, and the continued work of vigilant observers from the public to prevent Asian giant hornets from gaining a permanent foothold here," the statement says.

The B.C. Agriculture Ministry, meanwhile, is urging beekeepers and the public to continue reporting any sightings of the hornets that can reach up to five centimetres in length with a wingspan of four to seven centimetres.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press