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Asian giant hornet found in British Columbia in first 2020 sighting

A resident stepped on an Asian giant hornet in Langley, British Columbia earlier this month.

Editor's note: The above video on scientists hunting the Asian giant hornet originally aired in May 2020.

The first sighting this year of an Asian giant hornet in North America has been confirmed, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Asian giant hornets are an invasive species that attack honey beehives for protein, potentially taking out 30,000 honey bees in an otherwise healthy hive.

A resident stepped on the hornet in Langley, British Columbia on May 15 and reported it to the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture. Officials collected the hornet and confirmed its identity the next day.

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Canadian officials will do additional testing to see if the hornet is a queen and if it mated. Officials will also try to figure out where it originated geographically.

Credit: British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture
A resident stepped on an Asian giant hornet in Langley, British Columbia on May 15, 2020 and reported it to the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture.

The invasive hornets were previously spotted near Blaine in December.

Asian giant hornets can grow up to two inches long. Their active season starts in April and runs through early summer/early fall when they become most destructive to honey bee populations.

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To report an Asian Giant Hornet sighting, contact the Washington State Department of Agriculture Pest Program at 1-800-443-6684, pestprogram@agr.wa.gov or online at agr.wa.gov/hornets.