FILE - In this April 23, 2020, photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, a researcher holds a dead Asian giant hornet in Blaine, Wash. FILE - This Dec. 30, 2019 photo provided by the Washington State Department of Agriculture shows a dead Asian giant hornet in a lab in Olympia, Wash. It is the world’s largest hornet, a 2-inch long killer with an appetite for honey bees. Dubbed the “Murder Hornet” by some, the insect has a sting that could be fatal to some humans. (Karla Salp/Washington State Department of Agriculture via AP)

Asian giant “murder hornets” found in Brookswood

Langley is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

One of the extra-large invasive insects dubbed “murder hornets,” has been found in Langley, according to the province’s top bee official.

Paul van Westendorp, the B.C. apiarist, said that a specimen of Asian giant hornet was found in Langley Township, around 208th Street and 32nd Avenue.

This is the farthest east that the hornets have been found in B.C. The specimen will be autopsied to determine whether it’s a worker, drone, or queen, and its tissue will be preserved for DNA sequencing.

Previously, van Westendorp said, the giant hornets have been found around White Rock and along Zero Avenue, since the first sightings in 2019. The hornet was first spotted last year in Washington State.

“The Langley find is an indication that this insect has spread farther than anticipated,” he said.

“It should be mentioned that we anticipate more reports in the next few months as the development of larger nest populations will make the presence of AGH [Asian giant hornet] more apparent,” he said. “This should not be interpreted as if the country side is going to be overrun.”

READ MORE: Surrey’s Zero Avenue residents asked to watch for Asian giant hornets

As an “apex predator” of the insect world, numbers of Asian giant hornets tend to be low.

Individual hornets are not considered a threat to humans, pets, or livestock, but they can be a threat when their nests are disturbed.

The hornets have 1/4 inch stinger and can deliver a painful sting.

But the main cause for concerns is that hornets prey on honeybees. There are fears they could attack local hives, which pollinate crops and wild plants.

“The impact on honeybee colonies remains unknown at this time,” van Westendorp said. “However, beekeepers are highly innovative are likely to develop screens or other physical barriers that will eliminate or at least reduce the impact of AGH.”

“We urge you to be vigilant,” van Westendorp said in a letter to Fraser Valley beekeepers, asking them to report any unusual activities and sightings to government websites for tracking and reporting invasive species, either bcinvasives.ca/report or www2.gov.bc.ca/invasive-species.

The typical hornet is between 1.4 and 1.6 inches (3.5 to four centimeters) while queens are up to two inches (five centimetres).

AgricultureLangley

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

TIME IS RUNNING OUT: Readers invited to share wildlife photographs

Aim, snap, shoot, and share your pictures of wildlife in Langley to win!

Fort Langley Artists Group showcases art virtually to help hospice

Fifty per cent of painting proceeds will be donated to Langley Hospice Society

Family and friends mark birthday of teen who died after being discovered in Langley park

Carson Crimeni suffered an apparent drug overdose, his final moments broadcast on social media

VIDEO: Langley Ukulele Ensemble opens doors for socially distanced kids camp in August

Instructor Peter Luongo said precautions are being taken for the annual uke week, Aug. 24 to 28

VIDEO: Medea Ebrahimian mourned by friends and family

Memorial held for one of three found dead at a house fire in Langley Meadows last month

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

Fraser Valley Bandits, CEBL bringing pro sports back later this month

Abbotsford-based basketball team kicks off CEBL Summer Series on July 26

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Semi and BMW collide on South Surrey highway

At least one person to hospital, both vehicles sustained significant damage

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read