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Asian Hornet

Be vigilant ahead of peak season

By IzziPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Asian Hornet
Photo by Alexandre Debiève on Unsplash

Asian hornet

As the summer months approach, the UK is bracing itself for an influx of Asian hornets, an invasive species that poses a significant threat to the country's honey bee population. The Chief Plant Health Officer, Professor Nicola Spence, is urging the public to be vigilant and report any sightings of these distinctive hornets.

Asian hornets are smaller than native hornets and have a dark body, wide orange stripe on the fourth abdomen section, and yellow leg ends. They are not yet established in the UK, but early trapping is crucial for surveillance and eradication efforts.

The National Bee Unit has set up traps in areas where Asian hornet queens may have overwintered, and the public is being asked to report any sightings through the Asian Hornet Watch app or online.

While Asian hornets do not pose a greater risk to human health than native wasps and hornets, they can decimate honey bee populations, with a single hornet capable of devouring up to 50 honeybees in a day.

The impact of Asian hornets on honey bee populations is a major concern, as honey bees play a vital role in pollinating many crops and are essential for food security. In addition, the economic impact of Asian hornets on the beekeeping industry could be significant, with estimates suggesting that the cost of controlling the spread of Asian hornets could reach millions of pounds.

The public is urged to be cautious and not approach or disturb any nests, as Asian hornets can become aggressive if they feel their nest is in danger.

By being vigilant and reporting any sightings, the public can help take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets and protect the UK's vital honey bee population.

Remember, early reporting is crucial, so keep an eye out for these distinctive hornets and report any sightings immediately. Together, we can help protect our honey bees and prevent the spread of Asian hornets in the UK.

As the peak season for Asian hornets approaches, it is essential that we remain vigilant and take action to protect our honey bee population. By working together, we can prevent the spread of this invasive species and ensure the continued health and prosperity of our vital pollinators.

And here are ten ways to help :

You

1. Report the sightings: If you spot an Asian hornet, report it immediately through the Asian Hornet Watch app or online.

2. Learn to identify: Educate yourself on how to distinguish Asian hornets from native wasps and hornets.

3. Avoid disturbing nests: Do not approach or disturb potential Asian hornet nests, as this can provoke them and lead to attacks.

4. Support local beekeepers: Consider buying honey and other bee products from local beekeepers to support the local beekeeping industry.

5. Plant bee-friendly flowers: Plant flowers that are rich in nectar and pollen, which will help support honey bee populations.

6. Support conservation efforts: Donate to organizations working to protect honey bees and combat the spread of Asian hornets.

7. Spread awareness: Share information with friends, family, and community members about the threat of Asian hornets and the importance of protecting honey bees.

8. Support research: Encourage and support research into controlling and eradicating Asian hornets, as well as protecting honey bee populations.

9. Collaborate with authorities: Work with local authorities, beekeepers, and conservation organizations to monitor and control Asian hornet populations.

10. Stay informed: Stay up-to-date with the latest information and guidance from authorities and experts on Asian hornets and honey bee conservation.

By taking these actions, humans can play a crucial role in helping to prevent the spread of Asian hornets and protecting the vital honey bee population.

Remember, it's crucial to prioritize safety and take steps to prevent the spread of Asian hornets to protect our honey bee populations and ecosystem.

nt

Nature

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    IWritten by Izzi

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