Residents along 0 Avenue (pronounced as “Zero Avenue”), from Surrey to Aldergrove, are asked to report sightings of Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia) that may emerge from their nests in the coming weeks and months.
In December 2019, two specimens were found near Blaine, Wash., and a single specimen was found in White Rock in November 2019. These findings indicate a probability that nesting hornets are overwintering in the area.
Wooded habitat, like areas near the Canada-U.S. border, offer suitable hornet nesting grounds. Residents along 0 Avenue may be the first to notice them.
The provincial apiculturist will place hornet traps in the area and distribute pest-alert notices to 0 Avenue residents in the coming weeks, along with information and pictures of the Asian giant hornet and the steps to take if you spot the insect.
Asian giant hornets are large compared to other hornets, with noticeably large orange heads and black eyes. Worker hornets are approximately 3.5 cm in length. Queens can be up to 4 cm to 5 cm in length with a wingspan of 4 cm to 7 cm.
The Asian giant hornet is classified as a serious honeybee predator. Asian giant hornets hunt insects for food and generally are not interested in humans, pets and livestock. When their nest is disturbed, they will attack with painful stings, which can be hazardous to people’s health.
British Columbians who think they may have seen an Asian giant hornet can report their findings to the Invasive Species Council of BC at 1 888 933-3722, via the council’s “Report Invasives” mobile phone app or online: https://bcinvasives.ca/report
The Asian giant hornet was first found in British Columbia in August 2019 in Nanaimo. The single nest was located and destroyed.
To view photos of the Asian giant hornet, and the look-alike species, the bald-faced hornet, along with the yellow jacket, elm sawfly and northern horntail, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/farming-natural-resources-and-industry/agriculture-and-seafood/animal-and-crops/plant-health/pest_alert_asian_hornet.pdf
Visit HealthLink for more information on common insect stings: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/sig44526
and allergies to insect stings: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/rt1285
Invasive Species Council of BC: https://bcinvasives.ca/