GFM Network News


An Asian giant hornet, trapped at Birch Bay, Wash. on July 14, 2020 by Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) researchers, is seen at Olympia, Wash. on July 29, 2020. (Photo: WSDA/Chris Looney/handout via Reuters)

U.S. training ag staff to track, trap, kill ‘murder hornets’

Invasive species remains threat to bees, honey producers

Blaine, Wash. | Reuters — The first Asian giant hornet nest of the year has been found in Washington state, and plans are being developed to eradicate it, likely next week, the state’s agriculture department said on Thursday. The so-called stinging “murder hornets,” the world’s largest hornets, can grow to five centimetres in length and […] Read more

There are 75 regulated and prohibited noxious weeds in Alberta.

Weed-free forage program relaunched

Some counties are now offering inspections to ensure invasive weeds are not present in hay

Reading Time: 2 minutes A program aimed at preventing the spread of invasive and noxious weeds via hay is getting a second shot. Alberta’s first go-round with a Certified Weed Free Forage program a decade ago never fully took off but the Alberta Invasive Species Council has revived the initiative. “Use of certified weed-free forage is a best management […] Read more


A large male wild boar — which can top 600 pounds — in a rare daytime photo. They tend to be nocturnal.

Albertans urged to squeal on wild pigs

Reading Time: < 1 minute Anyone spotting wild boars is asked to report the sighting to the Alberta Invasive Species Council, which has launched a campaign called Squeal on Pigs. Anyone who sees the wild pigs or comes across damage they have caused is urged to either call 310-FARM, email [email protected], or use the EDDMaps app (Early Detection and Distribution […] Read more

Asian giant hornets have noticeably large orange heads and black eyes; worker hornets are about 3.5 cm in length; queens can be up to four to five cm in length, with a wingspan of four to seven cm. (B.C. Ministry of Agriculture)

Two more ‘murder hornets’ turn up on B.C. mainland

One nest found last month in neighbouring U.S. town

Beekeepers in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland are asked to keep an eye out for so-called “murder hornets” after two were found in the region within a week. A single Asian giant hornet was found Saturday at Aldergrove, near the intersection of Fraser Highway and Highway 13 — about five km from where […] Read more


Watercraft owners are required to stop at inspection stations so their boats, kayaks or other watercraft can be inspected for invasive species.

Don’t forget threat of invasive aquatic species

Reading Time: < 1 minute Albertans eager to get back onto lakes and irrigation reservoirs shouldn’t forget about the threat of invasive aquatic species, says the association representing the province’s 13 irrigation districts. “All watercraft owners have a part to play in preventing aquatic invasive species from being introduced into Alberta waterbodies,” the Alberta Irrigation Districts Association said in a […] Read more

Common tansy.

Watch for these invasive plants

Reading Time: < 1 minute The Nature Conservancy of Canada and the Canadian Council on Invasive Species are urging Albertans to watch for five invasive species and remove them if spotted on their property: Common tansy: Has yellow, button-like flowers and can grow 1.5 metres tall. It impacts stream banks and native grasslands and outcompetes native plants. It also produces […] Read more


Asian giant hornets have noticeably large orange heads and black eyes; worker hornets are about 3.5 cm in length; queens can be up to four to five cm in length, with a wingspan of four to seven cm. (B.C. Ministry of Agriculture)

More ‘murder hornets’ found in B.C., Washington

Findings suggest some were able to overwinter

Reuters/Staff — Officials in British Columbia and Washington state have confirmed new sightings of the Asian giant hornet, dubbed the “murder hornet,” indicating the invasive, predatory insect survived the winter in the Vancouver area and U.S. Pacific Northwest. The stinging hornet, whose queens can grow as large as 2-1/2 inches in length, could potentially pose […] Read more

The effort to keep rats out of Alberta dates back seven decades.

Eternal vigilance the key to being rat free

The effort to keep the rodents out of Alberta continues unabated after seven decades

Reading Time: 2 minutes It takes a lot of work but the Alberta Rat Control Program is an unqualified success, says provincial rat and pest specialist Phil Merrill. “Someone must have had incredible foresight and said, ‘We don’t have rats, and we’re only going to battle them in the east. We can do this,’” said Merrill, the face and […] Read more


A large male wild boar — which can top 600 pounds — in a rare daytime photo. The animals tend to be nocturnal.

Wild pigs a growing problem not many seem to care about

Alberta is the only province with a control strategy — but it’s still in the pilot program phase

Reading Time: 4 minutes Since their numbers are unknown and the wily animals are rarely spotted, it’s been easy to ignore the problem of wild pigs. But given their potential to spread disease, that’s a mistake, says the country’s leading — and pretty much only — expert on wild boars. The animals — whose population has mushroomed in the […] Read more

A customer eats an ‘insect tsukemen’ ramen noodle topped with fried worms and crickets at Ramen Nagi restaurant in Tokyo on April 9, 2017. (Photo: Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)

Farming insects may solve one problem, create others

Rome | Thomson Reuters Foundation — Insects have great potential as an alternative source of protein, but further research is urgently needed before mass production begins in order to avoid environmental disaster, Swedish researchers warned Monday. There is currently an “overwhelming lack of knowledge” on basic questions such as suitable species, their housing and feed […] Read more