Questions and Answers about the Asian Giant Hornet

Updated: Jun 18, 2020

By Riley Waytes, NBSBC Director

A collection box of Vespa mandarinia. Image from the

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.


A recent article on Asian Giant Hornets in the New York Times (‘‘Murder Hornets’ in the U.S.: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet’) has prompted some questions and concerns about Asian giant hornets in British Columbia and their impacts on both humans and bees. We hope that we can put some of those concerns to rest with some additional information.


What was reported in the article?

  • In 2019 an Asian giant hornet was seen in White Rock, BC and a nest of Asian giant hornets (Vespula mandarinia) was discovered and subsequently removed in Nanaimo

  • Also in 2019, two Asian giant hornets were found in the northwest part of Washington state

  • Finally, last year a hive of honey bees in Blaine, WA was killed in a manner reminiscent of how Asian giant hornets might attack a honey bee hive, although there was no direct evidence showing that Asian giant hornets were responsible

  • Genetic testing suggested that the hornets in Nanaimo and the hornets found in Blain were not connected.


What else