An Asian giant hornet found in Nanaimo in 2019. (Photo courtesy Conrad Bérubé)

An Asian giant hornet found in Nanaimo in 2019. (Photo courtesy Conrad Bérubé)

B.C. will set more traps to guard against Asian giant hornets

‘Comprehensive surveys’ to be done on Vancouver Island and the Fraser Valley

Asian giant hornets are unwelcome on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border and officials and citizen scientists will be trapping and exterminating accordingly.

B.C. and Washington state governments co-hosted a virtual press conference Wednesday to discuss their co-operative efforts to find and eradicate the invasive hornets.

A B.C. ministry of agriculture press release noted that “comprehensive surveys” will take place in Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island and in between White Rock and Aldergrove in the Fraser Valley. Washington announced changes to its trapping efforts and hopes “citizen scientists” will help set up traps baited with orange juice and brown sugar syrup.

Provincial apiculturist Paul van Westendorp said he’s grateful for a pheromone “magic elixir” provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture that will be used in some traps. There were about 60 traps, baited with orange juice and rice wine, set up in areas close to the U.S. border last year and van Westendorp said a greater number of traps will be set this year “simply because of the increased activity that is taking place in Washington state.”

Last year, six hornet specimens were collected in the Fraser Valley, all found by members of the public, and none were found on Vancouver Island. The province says the Island “could be declared Asian giant hornet-free” if no more of the insects are found there this year.

Van Westendorp said numerous agencies, beekeepers and other members of the public will play a “critical” role in the success of the survey efforts and said the province will be providing more information about trapping.

He said Asian giant hornets, as an apex predator, are not very densely populated in their natural range.

“They will be there and they’re very dangerous when you actually run into them, but the number of them is going to be very limited and that is in fact one of the main reasons we have so much trouble finding these darn nests, because there are so few of them around,” van Westendorp said.

READ ALSO: B.C., Washington state work together to kill Asian giant hornets

Sven-Erik Spichiger, managing entomologist with the WSDA, said the giant hornets found in Nanaimo in 2019 were genetically linked to giant hornets from Japan, whereas the hornets found in Blaine, Wash., were more closely linked to hornets in South Korea. Van Westendorp said that suggests separate introductions of the species has happened and can happen again.

Asian giant hornets have been called ‘murder hornets’ because of their propensity to decapitate honeybees. Van Westendorp said the hornets are hazardous to humans, pets and livestock and not only kill bees, but also wasps and yellow jackets, which could cause unknown impacts on ecosystems.

“When you ask what is the serious threat, even past your dog or heaven forbid your child stumbling into a nest while walking through the woods, having an apiary taken out in … less than a week and the massive expense that a beekeeper would incur and what the ramifications are of having a beekeeper who is trusted by a farmer to come by and perform pollination services the next year, there are some cascading effects to agriculture that are actually really severe,” Spichiger said.

British Columbians can report Asian giant hornet sightings to the Invasive Species Council of B.C. by calling 1-888-933-3722, using the council’s Report Invasives mobile app or visiting http://bcinvasives.ca/take-action/report/.

READ ALSO: Beekeepers in Nanaimo watching out for what are now being called ‘murder hornets’



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

AnimalsEnvironment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Chilliwack Search and Rescue truck heads down Vedder Road towards Cultus Lake to assist a dirtbiker with a broken leg. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Emergency crews, SAR busy with three separate outdoor recreation incidents in Chilliwack area

Calls in 1 afternoon include ATV collision, parachuter who fell from tree, dirtbiker with broken leg

Philomusica Chorus and Ensemble released ‘All Good Gifts’ on YouTube on April 3, 2021. (YouTube)
Chilliwack chorus shares latest song with ‘same love, enthusiasm’ as pre-pandemic music

Philomusica Chorus and Ensemble recently released its version of ‘All Good Gifts’ on YouTube

Crews are on scene of a three-vehicle collision at Vedder and Knight roads in Chilliwack on Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
Three-vehicle collision in Chilliwack causes traffic backlog at busy intersection

Collision happened at intersection of Vedder and Knight

Chilliwack’s historic Royal Hotel is offering COVID-style wedding packages for two weeks in June. (Facebook/ Royal Hotel Chilliwack)
Chilliwack hotel offers pop-up, COVID-style weddings for 2 weeks this June

‘Weddings can still happen, albeit in a different fashion,’ says Laura Reid of Royal Hotel

Kay Campbell (left) and Linda Brawn with Chilliwack Senior Peer Counsellors said the organization is in need of more volunteers to chat with seniors. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Volunteers like ‘lifeline’ for lonely seniors, says Chilliwack Senior Peer Counsellors

National Volunteer Week: People encouraged to volunteer time in form of weekly phone chats with elderly

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

Most Read