11/04/2020 11:51 EST

Murder Hornet Found On Lower Mainland Prompts B.C. To Issue Warning

A nest was destroyed in nearby Washington state last week.

Karen Ducey/Getty Images
A dead murder hornet is held by a biologist in Bellingham, Wash., in July 2020. A nest was found and destroyed in Nanaimo, B.C., last year.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The British Columbia Agriculture Ministry says one so-called murder hornet was discovered near Abbotsford on Monday.

The ministry is warning beekeepers and residents to report sightings of the invasive hornets, a few of which can kill an entire honeybee hive within hours.

The hornets can reach up to five centimetres in length with a wingspan of four to seven centimetres and are normally found in China, Japan, Thailand and other Asian countries.

The province says in a release that single hornets were found in White Rock and Langley in 2019 and again in Langley earlier this year, though a nest has never been found in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

A nest was found and destroyed in Nanaimo last year and last week entomologists destroyed a nest of giant hornets near Blaine, Wash., not far from the border with B.C.

The U.S. experts removed 98 hornets from the nest found in a tree, and a video posted to Facebook by the Washington state agriculture department shows how they captured two giant hornet queens alive.

Managing entomologist Sven Spichiger said in a release the destruction of the nest was “only the start of our work to hopefully prevent the Asian giant hornet from gaining a foothold in the Pacific Northwest.”

With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 3, 2020.