Asian Hornet

The National Bee Unit has a nicely concise page on this soon-to-be scourge.  As a beekeeper you’re more likely to spot a large but unfamiliar wasp-looking species simply because you’re more tuned in to flying insects and are now probably noticing far more different types of bees and wasps than you ever did before you became a beekeeper.  Airedale now, is as likely as any other part of the Northern Hemisphere to play host this undesired creature.

Asian Hornet 1

Asian hornets don’t just eat honey bees but because beehives contain such easy pickings, this type of hornet congregates by the hive entrance, preying on honey bees as they return or leave.  As a newly invasive species, the Asian hornet has three major advantages:

  • It has no natural predators here and therefore can audaciously hawk honey bees
  • There is plenty for to eat and the Asian hornet can therefore proliferate
  • Asian hornet nests are difficult to spot which prevents us from effectively destroying them.

We really do need to be vigilant so what can you do?

  1. Don’t put off researching the Asian Hornet until you have more time. Go online to the NBU page and take 10 mins to read up.
  2. Check out how to identify them using this Asian Hornet ID sheet
  3. Install the Asian Hornet app onto your phone for easy reference.
  4. Make yourself an Asian Hornet trap from a used plastic bottle and install it at your apairy. There’s a simple demo by the NBU on You Tube.
  5. Stay vigilant and have the wherewithal to report sightings.
  6. If you are a beekeeper and haven’t already done so then sign up to BeeBase to receive Asian Hornet alerts.

The NBU has a national strategy for dealing with Asian hornet incursion into the UK and beekeepers form part of that defence.

A Government press release confirmed the presence of the Asian hornet in the UK (specifically in Gloucestershire);  Asian Hornet

Along with the rest of the media, the Guardian has also reported on the news:  Threat to Honeybees