Yesterday, it has been confirmed that the Asian hornet has been found in Tetbury, Gloucestershire.
Asian hornets will attack honey bees as they go to and from the hive. They can kill them when the bees are returning loaded with pollen in their baskets. Then, when the colony is weakened, the hornets will enter the hive and attack the young bees. The Asian hornets can wipe out a honey bee colony very quickly.
So what can I do to protect my bees? Beekeepers have been encouraged to make special, DIY Asian hornet traps out of plastic bottles. Putting out the usual wasp trap would catch them, but in this case a trap needs to be made so that the Asian hornet can be clearly identified i.e. not the commonly used jam-jar trap that picks up lots of wasps together.
|I found this European hornets' nest close to my smallholding this summer|
I'll also help to locate the nearby nest, although the advice is for the public not to destroy the nests themselves. In Gloucestershire, a three mile surveillance zone has been placed around the original sighting and the nest or nests is/are being sought and destroyed.
Obviously I hope all the early hornet nests are destroyed at once - and that this nasty visitor doesn't get the chance to survive and spread across the UK.