It has been reported this week that Asian Hornets have been spotted by residents in a number of areas including the south of England. So what is all the fuss about? These are no regular hornets and are a genuine threat to the bee population here in the UK.
Accidentally imported to France from Asia in amongst pottery around 12 years ago they have now spread to other European countries. The Vespa Mandarinia as it is officially known is recognisable by a number of features. Namely that it is a whopping wasp measuring in at two inches!
Their bodies are not dissimilar to your average wasp, with dark brown bodies and those recognisable yellow stripes. Their black heads and orange faces make for a menacing looking creature.
They are usually only active between April and November and not after dusk. At this time queens begin creating and building nests. Garages, sheds, tall trees in both urban and rural areas are all considered appropriate nesting sites for the Asian hornets and then the egg laying begins. This will continue until the numbers reach approx. 6000!
Sounds innocent enough doesn’t it?
This is where the problem for the bee population begins. Asian hornets are vicious predators attacking bees as they exit the hive in a bid to relocate and inhabit the hive themselves. Asian hornets can kill 40 bees per minute by decapitation and stripping off wings to return them as food for their own young.
This behaviour can cause significant damage to bee colonies. With honey production down 34% last year - bee keepers are concerned.
Like all wasps they can be aggressive and give you a nasty sting and with this there is always a risk of a potentially fatal anaphylactic shock. So should you spot a nest do not approach it and call a professional to remove it safely for you.
Call us today on 0800 158 3885 and we can help you.