They were first reported in the Robins Park area of Nanaimo, but nests have now been reported at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Duncan.

Initially, three Asian giant hornets were discovered in the south Nanaimo park and a volunteer at the local cemetery was stung by one of these invasive insects, through her clothing; causing swelling, itching, and the need for medication.

Noella Dionne has been a volunteer at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Duncan for about 19 years, she was stung by one of these hornets and said the insect stung her through her clothing.

“Usually, they go with the bare skin, but they stung me through my pants, I couldn’t believe it,” said Dionne.

Dionne said she teamed up with a co-worker and caught 18 of these hornets.

“We caught ten of them and my friend, she caught eight in a small container,” said Dionne. “I don’t know if it’s the same one that poked me at St. Peter’s.

If you are stung, place an ice pack on the affected area to reduce swelling and slow the spread of the venom.

Do not rub the site, as that causes the venom to spread to surrounding tissue.

There are reportedly nests at St. Peter’s Cemetery on Church Road in Duncan and these insects can eat up to 50 honeybees a day.

Generally, hornets aren’t interested in humans, pets, and large animals. Instead, they hunt for food, aren’t attracted to pollen or nectar, but will attack if their nests are disturbed.

If you spot an Asian giant hornet, you can call the Invasive Species Council of BC at 1-888-933-3722.