Giant hornets not likely to come to Manitoba, according to entomologist

Click to play video: 'Why arrival of ‘Murder hornet’ in North America could cause danger for bees, concerns for humans'
Why arrival of ‘Murder hornet’ in North America could cause danger for bees, concerns for humans
WATCH: A hornet that originated from Asia has surfaced in North America and it's causing concerns for many due to the danger it poses for bees and their overall population. – May 4, 2020

If you’ve been sweating over the so-called “murder hornets” that have been in the news recently, you can rest easy if you’re in Manitoba.

Winnipeg entomologist John Gavloski told 680 CJOB the chances of the dangerous insects making their way to the prairies is low.

“Where they’re native to Asia, they do well in forest locations and low mountain habitats, they do not do well in plains areas,” said Gavloski. “So whether they can even adapt to Canadian prairies is still a huge unknown.”

Gavloski said there was a nest found on Vancouver Island last September. The nest was destroyed, but officials are still keeping an eye out for colony activity.

Story continues below advertisement

The hornets’ official name is Asian Giant Hornet, and Gavloski said they likely made their way to North America on cargo ships.

Their sting can be deadly to humans in large quantities, but Gavloski said the biggest threat would be to another local insect.

“The big threat would be to our honey bees,” said Gavloski. “It would be devastating to our local honey bee population, should it become established.”

The Asian Giant Hornet is the biggest wasp in the world, measuring at about five centimetres.

Officials in neighbouring Saskatchewan say residents there need not worry about the pests either, suggesting the wasps sound worse than they really are.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s not nearly as venomous as many other wasps, let alone many other insects,” University of Saskatchewan entomology researcher Sean Prager said. “It just so happens they’re big and scary.”

“It may only be that Cypress Hills would be suitable for a summer habitat, though the winters may be too much for it to survive if it even came east,” Royal Saskatchewan Museum curator of invertebrate zoology Cory Sheffield said.

Sponsored content