GFM Network News


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

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


Mogulones crucifer root weevil on houndstongue. This root weevil has been highly successful in 
controlling houndstongue in British Columbia.

Using insects to control invasive weeds on pasture

Houndstongue biocontrol project in B.C. has been highly successful

Once invasive plants reach a point of domination, elimination is generally not feasible. Land managers sometimes turn to biologic control, a last resort for reducing a widespread weed’s populations to below an economic or environmental damage threshold. Eradicating the weed may be impossible, but biocontrol agents may reduce it to manageable levels. Since 1951, 82 […] Read more

Hay Bale Landscape

Using an invasive weed to help fill the feed gap

When feed is in short supply, producers may want to harvest kochia.

For Prairie cattle producers looking for alternative feed sources this year, one possibility may be kochia. Kochia is an invasive weed, often seen growing on marginal land or tumbling across the Prairies. It’s a prolific seed producer, growing in saline soil and in arid or semi-arid conditions. A recent news release from Agriculture and Agri-Food […] 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

cattle on a pasture

Danger stalks spring pastures

Vet Advice with Dr. Ron Clarke

Every spring and summer, livestock producers incur losses as a result of poisonous plants. Acute deaths often go undiagnosed. The more than 200 poisonous species of plants on Canadian range cause chronic illness and debilitation, decreased weight gain, abortion, birth defects, poor reproductive performance, and photosensitization. Some poisonous plants are nutritious when eaten in small amounts, […] Read more


Some buyers refuse to take animals with burrs to avoid the risk of taking burdock seeds back to their ranch.

Beating back burdock

Invasive weed species can affect both pasture and profit

Burdock is an invasive plant that causes problems for livestock and crops, and is generally considered a noxious weed. The tall burdock plant, a native of Eurasia, is a biennial, which means it lives for two growing seasons. The first year, it merely grows leaves and accumulates food reserves in its roots, like a carrot. […] Read more