Asian Hornets and Airedale
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 hornets don’t just eat honey bees but because your hive contains such easy pickings for the hornet they congregate by the hive entrance plucking honey bees as they return or leave. There are three great advantages for the Asian hornet as a newly invasive species:
- they have no natural predators here and therefore can audaciously hawk honey bees
- there’s plenty for them to eat and therefore proliferate
- their nests are difficult to spot which impedes destroying them.
We really do need to be vigilant so what can you do?
- 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.
- Install the Asian Hornet app onto your phone for easy reference.
- 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.
- Stay vigilant and have the wherewithal to report sightings.
- If you haven’t already then sign up to Bee Base 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.
And here’s a useful guide on how to identify the blighters:
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
A rather dry take, and a bit of a corrective for the hype surrounding Asian Hornets comes from UK safari man. Yes, we know it’s serious, but it’s less of a threat to Western Civilisation than Donald Trump. The Mail, as ever, never knowingly understated.