Photo by John Holubeshen/Facebook

A team of four beekeepers have managed to take down a nest of Asian giant hornets in Nanaimo.

Earlier this month, the BC Ministry of Agriculture announced the presence of three of these invasive hornets seen for the first time on Vancouver Island.

See also: Three invasive Asian giant hornets have been found on Vancouver Island

On Wednesday, Nanaimo residents John and Moufida Holubeshen found an entire nest of giant hornets in the Robin’s Park area.

They, along with beekeepers Conrad Berube and Peter Lange, returned to the nest after dark to eradicate the colony.

In the process, John suffered one hornet sting through his shirt, while Berube took three stings through his pants despite all of them wearing thick clothing.

The hornets are shown to measure nearly an inch and a half long, with quarter inch long stingers.

“Hopefully we caught this before any new queens were released and hopefully this was the only nest on Vancouver Island (or in BC),” writes Holubeshen on Facebook.

However new reports from the Ministry of Agriculture indicate that there may be a second nest in the area.

Moufida and I found a Giant Asian Hornets nest in the Robin's Park area in Nanaimo last night. This is in the area of…

Posted by John Holubeshen on Thursday, September 19, 2019

Background

On September 11th, the provincial ministry of agriculture confirmed the presence of Asian giant hornets on Vancouver Island and proffered their assistance to beekeepers with surveillance and trapping equipment in Spring 2020 in case any more hornets emerge from dormancy.

Asian giant hornets are known to feed on honeybees and can destroy hives in short periods of time. They are typically known to be dormant in the fall and winter.

These hornets rarely sting humans but when they do so, they inject a larger amount of venom, and therefore the stings can be very painful and cause localized swelling, redness and itching.

“Hornets from the nest eradicated today are being preserved for further research and testing to determine their potential point of origin,” reads a statement from the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The provincial apiculturist is meeting with the beekeepers to review the information and nest site.”

British Columbians who think they may have seen one can report findings to the Invasive Species Council of BC at 1 888 933-3722, via the council’s “Report Invasives” mobile phone app, or at: https://bcinvasives.ca/report.