(Asian giant hornets/Wikipedia)

You know it’s spring when…

The Asian giant hornet, a.k.a “murder hornets,” are once again subject to an international effort of eradication.

British Columbia, the State of Washington, and US federal agencies are collaborating on plans to track, trap, and eradicate the dangerous hornet.

The Asian giant hornets hunt for insects for food and are generally not interested in humans, pets, or livestock.

When their nest is disturbed, they will attack with painful stings, which can be hazardous to people’s health.

BC’s 2021 Asian giant hornet surveillance program builds on last year’s work with comprehensive surveys in Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, and from White Rock to Aldergrove in the Fraser Valley.

Six hornet specimens were collected in the Fraser Valley through public reporting. No sightings or collection of Asian giant hornets were reported on Vancouver Island in 2020.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture’s (WSDA) will remain focused on areas in Whatcom County where Asian giant hornets were detected in 2019 and 2020.

BC will network with beekeepers and local governments to continue outreach in areas of concern, as well as work with traps in areas of previous hornet findings.

Experts will use orange juice and rice cooking wine in traps and citizen scientists will have the option of using either orange juice or a brown sugar-based bait.

Last year, half of the confirmed reports in Washington state and all of the confirmed reports in British Columbia were from members of the public.

The Asian giant hornets were
first found on Vancouver Island in August 2019. 

It was the first time the invasive species had been found on Vancouver Island, according to the BC Ministry of Agriculture. The nest was later found in Nanaimo by a team of four beekeepers and destroyed. It is believed they got here from an ocean vessel.

British Columbians who think they may have seen an Asian giant hornet can report their findings to the Invasive Species Council of BC, by phone, app, or online.

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