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Discussion in 'Celebrate Biodiversity' started by togata57, May 2, 2020.
I hope they realize the Canada/US border is closed.
Around 200 'murder hornets' will be 'extracted alive and killed' after first US nest was found | Daily Mail Online.
So this is the way to remove them !!!! Don't think I would try it.
BBC News - 'Murder hornet': First nest found in US eradicated with vacuum hose
'Murder hornet': First nest found in US eradicated with vacuum hose
More murder hornet nests suspected after first on US soil eradicated
Asian giant hornet workers undaunted by early morning wake up call
Thanks, togata57. Here is the direct YouTube link to the press release video:
It's 45 minutes; the first 15 minutes are the statement from the WSDA, and the rest a pretty good Q&A session, and there is a 5-paragraph (short paragraphs) written summary, and a link to the text of the press release. The speaker mentioned that there was a nest in Nanaimo last year. There are trappers now along the border, and the WSDA people are working with Canadian authorities.
I can't help but wonder if sensationalistic coverage of the purported threat of 'Murder Hornets' doesn't reinforce the aversion of everyday people to ALL insects. There certainly is no shortage of introduced insects that cause significant environmental and economic damage. See my post #19 from June 16 this year.
However, the fact is that only a tiny percentage of insects are harmful in any way but actually play an essential role in the environments where they live.
People who view insects negatively (as reinforced by articles about Murder Hornets) are arguably more likely to use insecticides in their garden spaces and/or to support community measures to eradicate them if not to not protect them.
This could be irrelevant if not for mounting research that tells us that insect populations are in severe decline worldwide. Lots of websites raise the concern, this among them:
Why insect populations are plummeting—and why it matters
Instead of articles reinforcing the negative attitude many feel toward insects such as Murder Hornets, we need more articles telling why and how we can encourage the benefical or benign.
I fully agree with Margot's @Margot posting about sensationalistic coverage of this and tbh a lot of things in the natural world and not just from the rag newspapers. Luckily everybody who takes part on the forum on a regular basis can see through all of this, but how about the public who take a look at the forum rarely and see the sensational headlines perpetrated by members.
Perhaps we should all read an article and then post our own comments without furthering a newspapers headlines by just adding a link !!?? Otherwise we are guilty of furthering the hysteria that Margot rightly pointed out in this instance, the reduction globally in insect population.
The Victoria Times-Colonist doesn't seem to be into sensationalism. Their report is on what's happening locally.
B.C. plans for Asian giant hornet different; Washington 'got lucky'
There is a little more to this short article than what was quoted in the Vancouver Sun, particularly on the difficulty of finding the nests, and also difficulties for the hornets in getting established.
Giant Asian hornet found in Abbotsford, B.C., residents urged to look out for more
And, while you're busy keeping your eyes out for the Giant Asian Hornet, don't forget to watch for these too . . . not quite so sensational but equal threats.
Pest Alerts highlight new and invasive plant pests of concern to agriculture in B.C. Early detection and identification of a new pest will greatly improve chances of eradicating the pest or slowing its spread and damage.
Apple Maggot - Pest Alert (PDF, 131 KB)
Asian Giant Hornet - Pest Alert (PDF, 330 KB)
Balsam Woolly Adelgid (PDF, 310 KB)
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug
Elm Seed and “Tuxedo” Bugs (PDF, 498 KB)
European Brown Garden Snail (PDF, 142 KB)
Grey Tortrix Moth - Pest Alert (PDF, 316 KB)
Japanese Beetle Pest Alert
Spotted Wing Drosophila (Fruit Fly) Pest Alert
Stop Western Yellowstriped Armyworm (PDF, 323 KB)
True Armyworm (Mythimna unipuncta) (PDF, 969 KB)
Western Yellowstriped Armyworm (PDF, 1.1 MB)
Western Corn Rootworm (PDF, 940 KB)
It seems you're peeved by news of this particular pest and I can understand your reasoning behind it. I myself do not like the moniker 'murder hornet' as I find it sensationalistic. Nevertheless, for the time being it is news. Perhaps it can be justified by the fact that this pest has yet to gain a foothold in our area and therefore is worth the extra coverage in order to raise general awareness amongst the public.
"Peeved" is not the first word I would use to describe myself. No. What irritates me is that the press and tabloid readers generally do not take environmental threats seriously unless they perceive themselves personally under attack. Of course, these giant hornets are a concern but no more so than most on the list above.
They are to honeybees.
Perhaps the list of other plants and insects should be discussed in its own thread.
Why? Unless other serious pests are described with terms like "Deadly Invaders!" and are a threat to people, separate threads will get little attention . . . not like the 1100 hits this one has. You have to ask if worries about honeybees are the main driver or if it is the perceived immanent danger to humans.
I appreciate the platform this thread provides to remind people that there are lots of 'invaders' which have arrived here in recent years; things that we as gardeners and citizens can help monitor and control. We don't need to be personally threatened to take these other pests very seriously - we do need to know what they are.
Take the Japanese Beetle for example. First detected in Vancouver in July 2017, it has the potential to do incredible damage which will in turn impact our environment, economy and quality of life. If coverage of the Asian Giant Hornet can be "justified by the fact that this pest has yet to gain a foothold in our area" (as @Junglekeeper suggests), Japanese Beetle deserves equal or greater publicity. 2019 British Columbia Japanese beetle survey report - Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Thank you for considering this point of view.
With all due respect, Japanese beetles were also in the news and was shared at the time: British Columbia: - Vancouver spraying to fight off Japanese beetle invasion.
I'm no expert on pests but it seems to me the hornets can be much more problematic because of their potential impact on honeybees, the primary pollinator of much of our food crops. Needless to say, without the bees our food chain would be threatened.
Perhaps it would help if the OP changed the thread title to clarify the intended subject of the thread.
The intended subject is, and was, as stated, 'Deadly Invaders'.
Japanese beetles, stink bugs, Drosophila are all certainly pests: 'deadly' they are not.
None of these arthropods kill honeybees.
Vespa mandarina, by its aggressive and lethal behavior, has the potential to decimate honeybee populations, thereby damaging or destroying bee-pollinated crops.
It takes an enormous amount of effort to pollinate all that fruit. In 2013, Washington grew 2,975,000 tons of apples, 434,000 tons of pears and 169,000 tons of cherries.
Just these crops alone were worth $2.8 billion in sales that year! The Washington Department of Agriculture estimated in 2007 that one colony of bees insured the production of $11,068 worth of fruit. Bees are also important for the pollination of alfalfa, apricots, plums, peaches, canola, sunflowers and other flowers, vegetable seeds and cranberries in Washington. Because Washington agriculture supports so many jobs across the state, the importance of bees to our state cannot be overstated.
Above two paragraphs excerpted from:
Washivore-discover Washington Agriculture!
Contradictory. 'Sensationalism' earlier decried now regarded as OK. Ends justify the means, apparently. (If a goal is morally important enough, any method of achieving it is acceptable: see under teleological ethics.)
Important information on pests will surely draw the interest of thoughtful Forum members.
Such a serious threat clearly merits its own thread, does it not?
I shall await its posting.
Instead of panicking over alarmist headlines, stories and what-if scenarios, the focus of our concern should be on how to manage Asian Giant Hornets if they do, indeed, become a menace here on Vancouver Island and beyond.
Here is what I think is a balanced, sensible look at the potential problem. There are many others if you search 'Managing Asian Giant Hornets'. Like Japanese Beetles and dozens of other invasive pests that we have been forced to deal with over the years, these too can be controlled. We need more facts and less emotion.
How can we all pitch in to save the bees?
And, for a bit of real-life drama -
USDA’s Cutting-Edge Methods Help Deliver a Victory Against Asian Giant Hornet
Who is doing so?
Despite their nickname and the hype that has stirred fears in an already bleak year, the hornets kill at most a few dozen people a year in Asian countries, and experts say it’s probably far fewer. By comparison, hornets, wasps and bees typically found in the US kill an average of 62 people a year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said.
Inside [the first nest], researchers found:
190 total larvae that developed from eggs.
108 pupae, the next stage after larvae. They were nearly all queens.
112 workers, which included 85 workers previously vacuumed out of the nest.
76 queens, nearly all of them virgin queens. New queens emerge from the nest, mate and then leave to find a place to spend winter and later start a new colony.
Further facts may be found within this article, from which the above facts were quoted:
First murder hornet nest found to have 200 queens capable of spawning new nests
Further news hit my in box this evening stating more Murder hornets are likely to be found. Think it is stating the obvious tbh, but once again it made headline news.
BBC News - 'Murder hornets': More nests likely to be found in US
'Murder hornets': More nests likely to be found in US
Just imagine how thrilled we would all be if the Covid virus suddenly became as visible and easy to deal with as Asian Giant Hornets!
Two more 'murder hornets' turn up on B.C. mainland - AGCanada
This is not just a worry for the province’s beekeepers. The Asian giant hornet is a threat to far more than just honeybees. Vespa mandarina is an opportunistic predator, meaning it also feasts on local insects like grasshoppers and even the yellow jackets hornet, none of which have a defence against its stinger, mandibles and venom.
“They’re so high on the food chain that they are preying on other predators,” says entomologist Alison McAfee. “It’s hard to imagine them not having a big impact on the ecosystem if they are truly able to establish themselves.”
One glimmer of hope for entomologists is that the hornets and their colonies lack genetic diversity, a key trait needed for surviving new and often hostile environments.
Beekeepers brace for next round with Canada's 'murder hornets'
Updates like this are becoming tiresome. Certainly, Vespa mandarinia is a potential threat to honeybees but it's strange to me that people living far away (in Ohio or Britain) are so much more alarmed than those of us who live in the area where a few have been found. I for one am very confident that strategies can and are being developed to cope with Giant Asian Hornets as they have for so many other introduced threats. (See my post #36)
If you don't think sensationalistic articles sell newspapers such as The Guardian, consider the fact that the title of this thread "Deadly Invaders!" has attracted over 1800 visits! Get a grip people. We know by now that there is lots to worry about in this world without looking for trouble where it may not even exist.
Interest does not imply alarm. Neither does it imply lack of confidence in strategies being developed to combat this insect.
Further, the interest of 1800 readers does not imply hysteria: rather, it indicates that this matter is one of great and general concern. It is my belief that Forum members---from all over the world--- come here to gain information----from all over the world.
If these updates are tiresome, simply do not read them. Apparently the exertion of reading does not preclude commentary.