Asian Hornet confirmed. Christchurch, Dorset, UK
Let’s hope that the autumn frosts do a real number on them! I have a friend who keeps bees in Provence, France. He has moved his bees from the coastal area up into the foothills of Alpes Maritimes, as the colder winters means far fewer hornets in the area. Hopefully the great British weather will likewise discourage the nasty little (big!) bugs.
It’s something we have feared coming over. My bee club are educating everyone about them and what we possibly can do to ensure our hives are protected.
I know in France they have used some traps where the hornets get trapped but bees can pass freely in and out the trap. It may be something to look at and may be re-configure the hives to include the trap at the bottom or top of the hive.
I have an electric tennis racket. As the European hornets fly in I give them a full on smash. My back hand isn’t powerful enough. They just keep coming one by one. The shock isn’t enough to kill them but gives a split second to find them on the floor and stamp on them.
My wife sits a few yards away giving early warnings and spotting where they land on the floor. She doesn’t bring a drink down now as the excitement is such that she spills it. I should say it’s an early evening sport for the hive I keep at home.
On a serious note. I am reducing my hive entries to 0.75 inch and 0.75 high. Just to make it harder. And practising my tennis.
I think next year will need to make several traps for home and around apiary. A trap with meat in put up in March attracts the queens. So that might help.
I note that the U.K. bee inspectors report if you have a Hornet trap or traps.
I don’t bother much now with wasp and the european hornets as they don’t do as much damage, I always ensure that my colonies are strong at all times. So the wasp and european hornet don’t have a big threat to the colony.
However from what I have heard the asian hornet is the one thing we all need to watch out, they could destroy a strong colony and the hive could be taken over by the hornets.
So far all the nest found in the UK have been destroyed.
Reading the beebase articles on Asian hornet. I note the hornet stands by the hive and takes bees outside the hive. The Asian hornet being in need of protein.
The key to minimising Asian hornet and euro hornet is the march traps laced with protein. Because this is when the queens rise and take first flight.
As I read it they cannot get in hive because a 3/8 inch aperture is the barrier. And the 3/4 inch wide opening is defence at its ultimate best.
I am resolute…Hornet tennis is still fun but then I am old fat bald ex army and a wicked sense of humour.
Regarding the old bit, ignore that, grossly over stated. I am so sorry for being factually incorrect.