This from the BBKA:
A leaflet called ‘How to Track Yellow-Legged Asian Hornets (Vespa velutina) has been produced by Sarah Bunker for the BBKA. BBKA trustees hope you find this leaflet useful. It can be downloaded from: https://www.bbka.org.uk/asian-hornet-resources
This will work with European hornets, if you want to practice. Asian Hornet Week is 4th – 10th September 2023. We have two live talks during the week (6th and 7th) with Andrew Durham (see top of p. 2) and some pre-recorded talks are available on the BBKA’s YouTube Channel from Monday 4th. Andrew Durham’s talks will also be recorded and made available at a later date.
We hope you have all downloaded the Asian hornet watch app and are sharing information about identification and reporting of Asian hornets across all your social media including any local Facebook groups. AH team members in Kent have found this productive. Don’t forget you can order Asian hornet leaflets and postcards to be sent to you from the NBU : https://www.nationalbeeunit.com/resources-for-beekeepers/leaflets-guides-and-videos/advisory-leaflets2/
Email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org but remember to give them your postal address and state how many of each you want.
Other resources are available on the BBKA website including posters, banners and information sheets for you to download: https://www.bbka.org.uk/asian-hornet-resources
Diane Drinkwater, BBKA Chair
Asian hornet – urgent
The number of Asian hornet nests found so far in England far exceeds those of previous years. So far, none has been reported in Surrey but some have been close to the border. It is vital that beekeepers look for Asian hornets around their hives and in other places, such as on fallen ripe fruits and ivy flowers, that are likely to attract this insect. Prompt discovery and reporting will allow the nest(s) to be found and destroyed before next year’s queens are produced.
Jonathan Brookhouse (Guildford division) has produced the following Call to Action (see next item), which is being shared with all Surrey divisions. Please read it and take action.
As the Asian Hornet has now come so close to our area (London SE28) Surrey BKA is considering purchasing bulk supplies of bait and traps to distribute free to its members to ensure we get thorough monitoring of our area. As a result, it would be very useful to know how many of our members would take up the offer. If you would be prepared to take a trap and bait, please send a note to email@example.com by the 10th September.
Andrew Halstead and Michael Main, who attended the Surrey Asian Hornet Team meeting.
Asian Hornet Team Call to Action
To date, mid-August 2023, the NBU report that there have been 32 nests found in 27 locations here in the UK.
These nests have been found only because specific credible sightings of hornets were reported to the NBU.
This is now serious. There have been more confirmed sightings this year than all the previous sightings together since 2016.
It goes without saying that if so, many have already been found, there must be others that have not yet been seen.
This aggressive invasive species is a top predator, there is no natural control if it gets a foothold in the UK.
As you are aware, they have colonised the whole of France, and in the last few years they are moving into Belgium, Spain, Portugal and are beginning to move into Italy.
The key danger to our bees is twofold,
Firstly, they are easy prey for Hornets who seek out beehives. Once they have found an apiary, they hawk outside the colonies, picking off returning forager bees one by one.
If you don’t have traps out already, you can make a simple monitoring one out of a jar with an 8-10mm hole in the lid and a jay cloth or sponge poking through acting as a wick (see photo below).
Fruit juice with extra sugar added can be used as a bait, but commercially prepared bait has extra attractants added to make it extra tasty to Vespa species.
You can follow the rolling update of the NBU’s Asian Hornet activity on BeeBase here.
Report any sightings direct via the Asian Hornet Watch App which you can download for free to your phone.
Without your help, it won’t happen.
With thanks, the Asian Hornet Team.
A simple monitoring station
A simple monitoring station, described by Gordon Bull, a Seasonal Bee Inspector with the NBU can be seen in the photo below.
It is reproduced from this link: https://aphascience.blog.gov.uk/2021/09/08/asian-hornet-week-hunt-for-asian-hornets/ The link also gives access to more information about Asian Hornets.
The photo shows two marked Asian Hornets feeding in a monitoring station made simply with a takeaway tray with kitchen towel soaked in a fruit juice bait with extra sugar. Three large pebbles stop the monitoring station blowing away. Because the insects are feeding, they are not aggressive, enabling photos to be taken. If you choose to monitor insects using this type of bait station, keep the lid nearby and if you notice a suspicious insect, you can quickly trap the insect by sealing the lid and look at the insect more closely. Do take care though, as they can sting!
A new leaflet showing how to create a range of simple monitoring devices is available under ‘factsheets’ on Beebase, the NBU’s official website. (Note that the two hornets in the picture are Asian Hornets as shown by the single yellow/orange band near the rear of its abdomen. – Ed.)
As mentioned, in Andrew and Michael’s article (p. 3), we are hoping to have both traps and bait available to us soon. This is part of a bulk order that Epsom Division are kindly offering to distribute to other SBKA Divisions.