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Three Asian giant hornets found in Nanaimo



British Columbia News

Three Asian giant hornets found in Nanaimo


  • Asian giant hornets are large headed and can vary in colour from different shades of orange, yellow and brown. Worker hornets are approximately 3.5 centimetres in length and queens can be up to four to five centimetres in length, with a wingspan of four to seven centimetres.
  • Four species native to B.C. — the bald-faced hornet, yellow jacket, elm sawfly and northern horntail — are commonly mistaken for Asian giant hornets.
  • These Asian giant hornets only nest in the ground, unlike other species of wasps or bees that build nests and hives in trees and/or buildings.
  • It is not known how the hornets, which are widely distributed in parts of China, Korea and Japan, arrived on the Island. It is possible they were transported with personal or commercial goods.
  • Hornets are generally not interested in humans, pets and large animals. They hunt insects for food, are not attracted by pollen or nectar and only attack when threatened or if their nest is disturbed.
    • People who notice a hornet’s nest on their property are advised to avoid it and get professional help in removal.
    • If people have allergies to insect stings, they should avoid any contact and carry an epinephrine autoinjector (such as an epipen) during the summer season.
  • If a pet is stung by Asian giant hornets only once or twice, treat it the same way as other insect stings — apply cold compresses to reduce swelling and itchiness. If a pet is stung multiple times or has a severe reaction, seek immediate veterinary care.
  • The Invasive Species Council of BC is a registered charity committed to reducing the spread and impacts of non-native species within B.C. To report invasive species, a “Report Invasives” mobile phone app is available for download or visit:

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