The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture says three insects found in Nanaimo in August have been confirmed to be Asian giant hornets. (Submitted photo)

Invasive honeybee-eating hornets with toxic sting found on Vancouver Island for first time

Asian giant hornet sting can cause dizziness, says B.C. Ministry of Agriculture

Invasive honeybee-eating hornets with stings that can be toxic have been found on Vancouver Island for the first time, says the B.C. government.

According to a B.C. Ministry of Agriculture press release, three large insects, Asian giant hornets, were found in Nanaimo, on central Vancouver Island, in August. They are well-known to prey on honeybees and are capable of destroying hives in a short time period. However, the hornets are dormant and unlikely to be seen in the autumn and winter months, the press release said.

People who encounter an Asian giant hornet nest are asked not to disturb it, said the ministry.

“Asian giant hornets do not seek out human food and feed on insects only,” the press release said. “If a nest of hornets is encountered, do not disturb the nest or the hornets and leave the area. Stings are rare, but may occur if their nest is disturbed. Due to the larger amount of venom injected, a sting from an Asian giant hornet can be very painful and cause localized swelling, redness and itching.”

The ministry recommends that people who are stung by the hornet compress ice or a cold pack on the affected area in order to reduce inflammation and stop the venom from spreading. People are asked not to rub the wound, as that will lead to the venom moving to surrounding tissue, the ministry said.

RELATED: Spread of invasive species in Canada costs billions

The press release also warned that people who are stung 10 times or more are at risk of developing toxic or allergic reactions, which can include dizziness. If this occurs, seek immediate medical help, the ministry said.

The ministry is investigating how it can assist beekeepers with surveillance and trapping equipment in the spring, should other hornets emerge from their dormancy or be introduced to the area.

Asian giant hornets are large-headed and can be orange, yellow and brown in colour, said the ministry. Worker hornets are about 3.5 centimetres in length, while queens are known to be four to five cm in length, with a wingspan between four to seven cm, it said.

To find out more about the effects of insect stings, click here.

People who think they’ve come across the hornets can contact the Invasive Species Council of B.C. at 1-888-933-3722, through the council’s Report Invasives mobile phone app or at www.bcinvasives.ca/report.


More from the News Bulletin on Facebook and Twitter

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

Just Posted

Volunteers needed at Nelson soup kitchen

Our Daily Bread is struggling to find help

Community comes together to create outdoor classroom at Kootenay school

Brent Kennedy Elementary has a new learning space thanks to an inspired teacher Kalesnikoff Lumber

RDCK rescinds evacuation alert for properties near Talbott Creek fire

Cooler and wetter condition are expected to help crews fight fire in coming days

LETTER: Friends of Kootenay Lake should read the science

From Harvey Andrusak, former provincial director of fisheries

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Vancouver Island sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Oak Bay man was attempting to circumnavigate the world solo

Majority needed to pass COVID-19 budget, B.C. premier says

John Horgan pushes urgent care centres in first campaign stop

Public health officials urge Canadians to limit contacts again as COVID-19 cases rise

Canada has committed $1 billion to buy at least 154 million doses of vaccines from five different companies

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island family overwhelmed with 14 Lab puppies

Litter may be one of the biggest ever

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

Most Read