Millions of British people are being warned to be vigilant and keep an eye out for killer hornets arriving in the UK. This invasion is all down to the unseasonably warm weather we have been lucky enough to be experiencing of late.
Killer Asian Hornets
Responsible for the deaths of 6 people in France, the National Bee Experts were are so concerned they called an emergency meeting which is set to be held next month to try and tackle the problem.
Why The Concern?
The Vespa mandarinia or Asian Hornet measures two inches, their bodies are dark brown with a thin yellow banding. They have black heads with an orange hued face. They are usually only active between April and November. Queens build their nests in April and rapidly begin to lay eggs until the population reaches about 6,000 individuals. At this point they leave the nest to hunt their honeybee prey.
The two inch Asian Hornets pose a serious threat to our British bees. Known for being an extremely aggressive predator they attack bees as they exit their hives stripping off their wings and, decapitating them before turning the remains into food for their young.
This continues till they have extinguished the colony and they themselves can inhabit the hive! A single hornet can kill 40 bees in a minute! Honeybees play a vital ecological role, and there is a serious possibility they could permanently affect Britain’s biodiversity.
Arriving in France via transportation on pot plants from China; their presence has been confirmed in both Spain and Belgium. There are worries that they may soon arrive in the UK due to our increasing temperatures of late and through “hitchhiking via travellers or holiday makers in their vehicles or luggage. Defra have announced they are closely monitoring the situation and that they are prepared to deal with the situation should an invasion of the Asian Hornet occur on British soil.
Other advice from Defra includes not approaching or attempting to deal with a nest should you find one and to call a professional due to the increased numbers of victims suffering anaphylactic shock following stings.
So for now the advice for everyone is to BEE aware!