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Asian giant hornet nest ‘eradicated’ on Vancouver Island, province says

WATCH: (May 13) A Japanese hornet may have been spotted in Metro Vancouver and in some cases it can be lethal to humans. Dr. Ron Lin from Dr. Bee Honeyland Canada joined Jennifer Palma on BC1 to explain.

Asian giant hornets may have been vanquished in B.C. just over a week after they were found in the province for the very first time.

The province’s Ministry of Agriculture said Thursday that a nest discovered in the ground near Robin’s Park in Nanaimo was destroyed on Wednesday using carbon dioxide, and the queen and all hornets were removed.

The ministry first announced the presence of Asian giant hornets on Sept. 11, saying three of the deadly insects were found buzzing in the Nanaimo area in August.

READ MORE: Asian giant hornets confirmed to be buzzing in B.C. for very first time

Three more hornets were then reported, helping provincial experts and local beekeepers trace and locate the nest.

The hornets, which are the largest in the world with a length of at least 3.5 centimetres, have never been spotted in B.C. before, the province said last week.

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Along with their large size, the hornets are known to prey on honeybees and destroy their hives, which is their main food source. In Japan and other parts of Asia, local bee populations have been occasionally decimated.

WATCH: (May 30) B.C. officials identify giant hornet found in North Vancouver

B.C. officials identify giant hornet found in North Vancouver
B.C. officials identify giant hornet found in North Vancouver

The hornets can also be deadly to humans, despite not being generally interested in them or animals. Experts say 10 or more stings can cause a toxic or allergic reaction that could prove fatal if not addressed immediately.

The ministry said Thursday the hornets from the destroyed nest are being preserved for further research and testing to determine where they came from.

READ MORE: ‘Get that thing away from me!’: Couple discovers giant hornet buzzing in North Vancouver

There are also reports of a second nest in the area, the ministry added, which are being investigated.

Beekeepers and humans are being reminded to keep an eye out for the large hornets and report any sightings to the Invasive Species Council of B.C.

Because the hornets nest on the ground — as opposed to other hornets that nest in trees or buildings — residents are being advised to be extra cautious not to disturb any other nests that may be found.

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WATCH: (May 30) B.C. officials identify giant hornet found in North Vancouver

B.C. officials identify giant hornet found in North Vancouver
B.C. officials identify giant hornet found in North Vancouver

The province says anyone who is stung should use an ice cube or pack to reduce inflammation and the spread of venom. Rubbing the site of the sting causes the venom to spread to surrounding tissue and should be avoided.

Bees in those areas have since developed a method for killing the hornets by surrounding the invader and vibrating, generating heat and essentially cooking it to death.

But experts say bees in North America don’t exhibit that same behaviour, making the introduction of Japanese giant hornets in the region dangerous for their survival.

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