What a surprise this morning to hear the about the Asian Hornet on BBC Today programme on Radio 4 (The Home Service – for the older readers!) After the usual stories the last item on the 7am news was the Asian Hornet. I now know that bee keepers are forming a Dad’s Army to look out for this invasion!
In fact the BBC has taken it further and there is an additional entry on the BBC website. Full marks to see that the media has taken it seriously and stuck to the truth.
All of this comes on the back of confirmed sighting in the UK. The sighting was in Monmouth and confirmed as plausible on the BBKA site. Alarming that this occurrence was so far from expected points of entry.
This is not a time to relax and I ask that all bee keepers continue to monitor their traps. When you do your weekly visit to your hives as described in the June Tasks pause as you approach the hive and look for signs of hawking.
It is probably too late to see secondary nests in trees, too many leaves, but if you are out walking keep your eyes open for Asian Hornets. Though hawking at hives is their preferred food source that does not rule out being found in any place there are other flying insects
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.
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.
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.