A Washington state Department of Agriculture worker holds two of the dozens of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a tree in Blaine, Wash. When scientists destroyed the first nest of so-called murder hornets found in the U.S. recently, they discovered about 500 live specimens inside in various stages of development. (File photo by The Associated Press)

A Washington state Department of Agriculture worker holds two of the dozens of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a tree in Blaine, Wash. When scientists destroyed the first nest of so-called murder hornets found in the U.S. recently, they discovered about 500 live specimens inside in various stages of development. (File photo by The Associated Press)

Stamping out ‘murder hornets’

‘When someone does find one, there will be no mistaking what it is’

Last spring Kerry Wood Nature Centre received plenty of panicked calls about possible ‘murder hornet’ sightings.

That’s when word spread that Washington state had two verified reports of Asian giant hornets, the world’s largest hornet, near the Canadian border in December 2019.

Now British Columbia and Washington state are ready with a plan to eradicate the invasive hornets.

Todd Nivens, executive director of the Waskasoo Environmental Education Society, said the hornets have not shown up in Red Deer, or elsewhere in Alberta, as far as he knows.

“We got probably a dozen phone calls last year from people thinking they’d seen them. In every case they turned out to be either banded horn tails or elm sawflies,” said Nivens who doesn’t expect to see any of the hornets because Alberta winter would likely kill them.

“They’re huge. They’re absolutely undeniable. When someone does find one, there will be no mistaking what it is.”

The hornets, about as big as AA battery, are known for preying on honeybees and decimating hives.

“Nothing does the job so efficiently as Asian giant hornets because they’re immune to honeybee venom. Bees can swarm them and sting them and it just doesn’t do anything to them. They methodically go through the bee hive and clip the heads off honeybees.”

Related:

Plans readied by B.C. and Washington state to wipe out invasive giant hornet

On the lookout for murder hornets

Nivens said on a local level, few things can do damage like Asian giant hornets, but on a global scale the biggest problems for honeybees and climate change and pesticides.

“They will do far more damage over time than an invasive predator.”

But if Red Deerians do have questions about the hornets, they are encouraged to contact the nature centre.

“I rather someone take a picture, or capture something, and call, rather than going out and spraying pesticides around. I’d rather have somebody double check.”

— With files from The Canadian Press



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Kerry Wood Nature Centre

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

Just Posted

Red Deer-Lacombe MP Blaine Calkins (Photo contributed)
Federal budget strangles job growth, says MP Blaine Calkins

‘It is most certainly not a balanced budget’

Kids at Lotsa’Tots West Day Care in Red Deer act out how a caterpillar moves with co-owner and instructor Shireen Sewcharran-Wiebe. Child care providers are hoping Alberta’s provincial government will help fund the national child care program announced this week. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Alberta day care providers hope Alberta will get onboard with national child care program

Some question whether the UCP’s ideology will stand in the way

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney shakes hands with Jason Nixon, minister of Environment and Parks after being sworn into office, in Edmonton on Tuesday April 30, 2019. Town council from the largest municipality in Nixon's constituency is concerned over the province's consultation plans for open-pit coal mining in the Rocky Mountains. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Town of Rocky Mountain House wants better coal consultation

ROCKY MOUNTAIN HOUSE, Alta. — Town council from the largest municipality in… Continue reading

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was in Red Deer on Friday to provide an update on the province's COVID-19 response in schools.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Alberta government aiming for more financial literacy learning in junior and senior high schools

Government providing grants to organizations who will help design financial literacy programming

Two roundabouts will be built at each end of the Highway 2 and McKenzie Road overpass in Red Deer County at the south end of Gasoline Alley. Major detours will be in place this summer while construction is underway. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Powerline work causes delays on Highway 2 in Red Deer

Southbound drivers on the QEII are experiencing delays Wednesday morning. Powerline work… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at a television screen as he listens to United States President Joe Biden deliver a statement during a virtual joint statement following a virtual meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘We hope to help a little more’: Biden says he spoke to Trudeau about more vaccines

WASHINGTON — Canada can look forward to an unexpected shot in the… Continue reading

The Mission Correctional Institution in Mission, B.C. is pictured Tuesday, April 14, 2020. A new federal study found that people released from prison were much more likely than the general population to have trouble finding gainful employment, even over a decade after returning to society. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Ease employment hurdles for former prison inmates, federal study urges

OTTAWA — A new federal study found that people released from prison… Continue reading

Governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem holds a press conference at the Bank Of Canada in Ottawa on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Bank of Canada keeps rate on hold, sees brighter economic outlook

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada is keeping its key interest rate… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. Tam says new information on COVID-19 and variants prompted the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to suddenly cancel its planned update on who should get the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
AstraZeneca advice from national panel delayed by new data on COVID-19 and variants

OTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says new information on COVID-19… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks at a television screen as he listens to United States President Joe Biden deliver a statement during a virtual joint statement following a virtual meeting in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pressured to adopt tougher emissions target for Biden climate summit

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under pressure to step up… Continue reading

Passengers from Air India flight 187 from New Delhi wait for their transportation to quarantine after arriving at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
ICU pressures mount as COVID fells younger people; Ottawa mulls India travel ban

TORONTO — Amid mounting pressures on critical care in hospitals and concerns… Continue reading

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers the federal budget in the House of Commons as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on in Ottawa on Monday April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Three confidence votes to determine fate of minority Liberal government

OTTAWA — A pair of proposed changes to the federal budget put… Continue reading

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland talks with parents during a virtual discussion on child care in Ottawa, Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Freeland is calling for patience and “flexibility” in response to questions about the government’s criteria for reopening the economy and border. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Freeland urges patience as business looks for answers on reopening border, economy

OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is urging Canadian companies to… Continue reading

Most Read