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Asian Hornet – March 2020
With spring finally here and lots to do around the bees, now is a great time to start to think Asian Hornet because eventually they will be arriving to pester your bees.
Spring for an emerging AH Queen is a very tricky time as she has many obstacles to overcome in order to become established in making the first nest of two “primary” which are almost always very low to the ground. She needs to rebuild her strength by only feeding on nectar or tree sap so currently this is where they are likely to be seen at this time of the year.
Mated queens also known as “foundresses” over winter in woodpiles, tree bark, crevices, stone walls etc. and even have been found to cluster with other queens of 2 or 3 and start to emerge in temperatures of 13*C and above.
Monitor - Don’t Kill
Why monitor not kill?
It's extremely important to reduce the amount of by-catch in any type of trap so as not to drastically reduce the biodiversity of other insects and pollinators in your area. They are already in a steep decline due to the impact of climate change and the use of pesticides, so please bear this in mind and help protect the innocent bystanders.
There are two types of monitoring trap - those that kill and those that capture.
There is more time involved in those traps that capture as the by-catch needs to be released before they die. In order to preserve as many non-target species as possible, traps should be visited and emptied daily. The damage monitoring traps do to the population of native wasps, hornets and any other insects should be kept to an absolute minimum.
It's also important that the trap should not drown insects but provide a surface for them to stay afloat of the attractant so those that are not Asian hornets can be safely released.
Of the 3 nests found in the UK in 2019 - 3 nests confirmed were in TAMWORTH & CHRISTCHURCH.
1st was 65ft in a tree top on 4th SEPT Tamworth (HIGHEST RECORED).
2nd was 50ft in a tree on 3rd OCT Christchurch.
3rd Nest 10 OCT Christchurch - 10M from the 1st nest.
With the 17 confirmed sightings in the UK (BOTH PRIMARY AND SECONDARY) 9 nests were destroyed, DNA shows all were colonised in the EU and not Asia.
Jersey had a confirmed 31 sightings of AH in 2019 to which 69 nests were confirmed and treated. All nests were both primary and secondary nests.
782 reports of AH in Jersey, only 404 were confirmed AH, with 65% backed up with images for confirmation.
2019 - 17 secondary nests were located and destroyed.
2020 Feb02 South West Jersey came the first confirmed sighting of AH which was a single queen, potentially disturbed from hibernation.
Did you know?
Asian hornets can fly at approximately 3 metres per second. In comparison, the normal top speed of a honey bee would be about 21-28 km per hour when flying to a food source and about 17 km per hour when returning lladen down with nectar and pollen.
CDBKA encorage all members to be very observant towards their apiaries and record all concers using your mobile phone, then contact Martyn Belcher on 07792126632
Summer prefered baits for traps - add small pieces of Fish or Praws, this provides proteins for the adults to feed their young.
Chesterfield Asian Hornet c0-ordinator Martyn Belcher
Images curtosy of Sarah Bunker - The Asian Hornet Book.