Asian Hornet Exercise

The Asian Hornet threat has not gone away – it is still a threat and we are all hoping that it is not building nests in the forests we are not visiting during the lockdown. BBKA now have an AHAT volunteer exercise.

As part of the process of educating as many people as possible the BBKA has several pages of information. One of those, the map page of Asian Hornet Action Team (AHAT) vounteers, has a link to an exercise for the AHAT volunteers. If you want to test your knowledge of the Asian Hornet there is a link there as well. It is not a difficult test but will see if you know what an AHAT volunteer needs to know. If you want more background information on the Asian Hornet then ahat.org.uk is a good source of information.

We also have a lot of information on our own site – both true information and examples of false information.

To do the exercise you will need your BBKA membership number. If you have forgotten what it is then dig out your receipt for you BBKA membership of your local association and the number should be on there. I did search the BBKA web site but was unable to find my number even after I had logged in – just telling you so you do not waste time looking.

Asian Hornet Myths

Look Out!

When you next go out to check your bees you may find:

  • Flying insects as big as mice
  • Your bees have all been decapitated and eaten by Asian Hornets
  • You are at risk of being killed by a single sting from an Asian Hornet.

And you thought we had enough problems with the current lock down. Fortunately the threats suggested above are not real because they are Asian Hornet Myths. They are what we see in the papers. Fake news is not restricted to 5G masts and politics.

A new page I have added today is an attempt to start to set the record straight by debunking Asian Hornet myths that are floating about out there.

A lot of the myths are spread on social media. If you are a user of any of these can I ask that you search for Asian Hornet on your favourite social media sites and if you see the Giant Asian Hornet (Vespa mandarinia) labelled as Asian Hornet (Vespa velutina) then ask for it to be removed as being false and add your own comment to say what it really is.

We need the help of the public to keep on top of the Asian Hornet but they will not be able to do that if they are looking for the Giant Asian Hornet.

Asian Hornet in the Press

10th April 2020
The Daily Telegraph has published an article on the threat of the Asian Hornet.
Also the Daily Mail has published an article on the threat.

There is also a story in the Sun – and I use the word “story” with care. The image is Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) and can be 20mm in length with a wing span of up to 75mm and a sting 10mm long.

On a more positive note we assume that the Asian Hornets that we found in the UK last year had grabbed a lift with vehicles coming over from French Channel ports. Under the present lock down there is a lot less traffic and thus a lot fewer opportunities for a lift.

I have also added another page of information to the site. This time on the frames that we use in the hive. When I first bought a hive I had no idea whether I needed SN4 or DN5 frames and that is why I wrote this page.

Apiary Tasks in April

4th April 2020
Tasks for the Apiary in April is published and hopefully brings to your attention things you should be doing in the apiary.
We are still in a lock down – and may be for some considerable period of time. However the bees still need inspecting and to be honest “inspecting livestock” means that I can drive over to my apiary and not feel guilty.

One fear I have that is that whilst we are not visiting the countryside either individually or en masse the Asian Hornet is quietly getting established. Several bee keepers have been in contact with me in the last few days and as they have traps in their gardens or are visiting their traps every day I have been able to furnish them with some Trappit (previously known as Suterra). Hopefully they will catch nothing but as the temperature warms up we are more likely to find Asian Hornet Queens coming out of hibernation – if we have any.

I have also added a page on Hive sizes. This often causes confusion, especially amongst beginners. I wrote it initially for the upcoming auction at Taunton – which alas is now cancelled – but I completed it as I still think it contains some useful information. Have a look and let me know what you think.