Another 'murder hornet' discovered in B.C.'s Fraser Valley
An example of the Asian giant hornet. (B.C. Government/handout)
VANCOUVER -- Another so-called "murder hornet" has turned up in B.C.'s Fraser Valley.
The province's latest Asian giant hornet was discovered Monday in Abbotsford, prompting a new reminder to report any sightings of the invasive species to the Ministry of Agriculture.
"Though Asian giant hornet activity declines rapidly as colder temperatures arrive, people are encouraged to report possible findings," the ministry said in a news release Tuesday.
Officials have received hundreds of reports of the buzzing intruders over the past year, though most were unverified. There have been confirmed specimens in White Rock and Langley, however, and a nest was found and destroyed in Nanaimo last year.
No nests have been detected so far in the Lower Mainland, though officials suspected there were hornets waiting out last winter somewhere near the Canada-U.S. border near Surrey.
Asian giant hornets are described as being about 3.5 cm long – considerably larger than regular hornets – with big orange heads and black eyes. Queens are even longer, reaching up to five cm in length with a wingspan of up to seven cm.
The species is classified as a "serious honeybee predator," and known to behead bees while attacking colonies.
The hornets are said to be generally uninterested in humans, unless their nest is disturbed, in which case they can unleash a mean sting that "can be hazardous to people's health," the ministry said.
Sightings can be reported to the Invasive Species Council of B.C. at 1-888-933-3722.