Asian Hornet Week runs from 7th to 13th September 2020
We live on an island relying heavily on imported goods. Accidental importation of the Asian Hornet into France has caused devastation to the European economy, agriculture, and the insect life. From there it has spread to the Channel Islands. Jersey beekeepers have destroyed 38 nests this season so far.
Here in Hampshire, in some areas, this season has been severely affected by wasps in the apiary.
Asian Hornets behave similarly to wasps with three differences; they are faster, blacker and have a bigger stinger. There are two other differences. They can be found in Asian restaurants wrapped in a spring roll and they’ve proved themselves very adaptable in foreign countries.
From August onwards, Asian hornet workers – just like wasps – are losing their source of flower nectar and begin looking elsewhere for sugary energy and may be found preying on your bees, fallen fruit, ivy and near boundary hedges etc.
We need to be monitoring regularly to protect our beneficial insects, and so that we have live samples that could be tracked if necessary. Please register your monitoring stations in apiaries on BeeBase.
- Open bait stations – a plastic tray with screwed up kitchen roll, a heavy stone, and your liquid bait. Ideally protect these from rain – like a bird table you can watch them come and go; and hopefully obtain a photo
In the Autumn, Asian Hornet nests will be in protected zones away from wind and rain; under the eaves of your house, in your tool shed, the corner of your garage. Worker hornets can be observed on fruit trees, grape vines, and windfall apples and on ivy plants, where they will often be seen taking insects (biting off their head and tails and taking the muscle meat back to their offspring). They have been observed on the carcasses of dead mammals, dead birds and at the back of fish restaurants picking off the prawns – if there are baby hornets in the nest needing protein.
Males and new queens will be produced in the late Autumn and males can be seen feeding on flowers. This is a crucial time to spot Asian Hornets as it is important to find any nests before the queens emerge and go into hibernation. Observe plants, fruits and look around your apiary.
If you think you have seen an Asian Hornet:
- Get a photo (or sample)
- If you are not sure or are struggling to get evidence contact your local Asian Hornet Action Team – firstname.lastname@example.org
- If you are sure and you have evidence, then report on the Asian Hornet Watch App or email email@example.com and to Janelle Quitman 07447 035 668
- Janelle has a container of Trappit for those members who want to be involved in a monitoring record programme
Due to current restrictions please make sure that you keep yourself safe and comply with government guidelines. Check BBKA website for updates on how this relates to beekeepers.