The Asian giant hornet : what the public and beekeepers need to know
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The Asian giant hornet (AGH) or Japanese giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, recently found in British Columbia, Canada, and in Washington State, poses a significant threat to European honey bee (EHB), Apis mellifera, colonies and is a public health issue. The AGH is the world’s largest species of hornet, native to temperate and tropical low mountains and forests of eastern Asia. It appears the hornet is well adapted to conditions in the Pacific Northwest. If this hornet becomes established, it will have a severe and damaging impact on the honey bee population, the beekeeping industry, the environment, public health, and the economy. It is critical that we identify, trap, and attempt to eliminate this new pest before it becomes established and widespread. Here, we will cover how the AGH will impact the honey bee, give the reader a better understanding of the hornet, outline precautions to take, and first aid if attacked by the hornet.