A single Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarina) was found near the junction of Fraser Highway and Highway 13 in Aldergrove on Nov. 7, 2020, approximately five kilometres away from where 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.
Each of the five confirmed hornets found in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland since 2019 have been a result of public reports. As no nests have been discovered in the area, the Ministry of Agriculture encourages beekeepers and the public to continue reporting any sightings to the Invasive Species Council of BC, toll-free at 1 888 933-3722, via the council's "Report Invasives” mobile phone app or online: https://bcinvasives.ca/report
Survey efforts in the Fraser Valley have focused on surveillance and trap monitoring along 0 Avenue (pronounced as "Zero Avenue"), with the support of local beekeepers and other organizations, as well as in Nanaimo, where a nest was located and destroyed in 2019.
In October 2020, Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologists successfully eradicated an Asian giant hornet nest following multiple findings of single hornets in the same area of Blaine, Wash.
A sting from an Asian giant hornet can be painful and cause localized swelling, redness and itching due to the larger amount of venom injected. However, they are not interested in humans, pets and large animals. Asian giant hornets hunt insects for food and will attack people only when their nest is disturbed.
To view photos of the Asian giant hornet, and the look-alike species bald-faced hornet, yellow jacket, elm sawfly and northern horntail, visit:
Information about the Nov. 2, 2020, hornet finding in Abbotsford: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020AGRI0056-001909
A summary of 2020 B.C. government hornet surveillance efforts: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020AGRI0013-000517
Washington state hornet information: https://agr.wa.gov/departments/insects-pests-and-weeds/insects/hornets/news
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/