B.C. and Washington state to combat invasive Asian giant hornets

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B.C., Washington state and U.S. federal agencies will collaborate on plans to track, trap and eradicate Asian giant hornets, which threaten local pollinators. 

The province said its surveillance program will include traps in areas where there were previous findings, as well as networking with beekeepers, local governments and partner agencies. Reports from the public are crucial for locating Asian giant hornets and accounted for all of the confirmed reports in British Columbia last year, according to the provincial government.

Six hornet specimens were collected in the Fraser Valley through public reporting last year. No sightings or collection of Asian giant hornets were reported on Vancouver Island in 2020, which could be declared Asian giant hornet free if no specimens are reported this year, the province said. Surveys are planned for Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, White Rock and Aldergrove.

Washington state’s plan includes an emphasis on public outreach, reporting and trapping. The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) will continue to use orange juice and rice cooking wine in traps. Citizen scientists are encouraged to use either orange juice or a brown sugar-based bait.

The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the USDA Agricultural Research Service are conducting research to support detection and eradication.

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

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