I was going to tell you all about summer and progress in the apiary, but there hasn’t been much of a summer, just lots of rain after a short burst of sun in June!
However, what I am to share is far more important. Have you heard of the Asian hornet? Some people call it the killer hornet, same thing. Some call it AH.
Vespa velutina is a yellow legged hornet natuive to China and south East Asia. Why has it ended up in the UK? Well you can blame climate change and the French!
The problem with the Asian Hornet is that in France they have been causing massive problems for beekeepers. In the summer they make a secondary next ( to spread ) This 80 cm high and 50 cm wide, high in a tree, and it is home to 6000 hornets within it.
The problem with the secondary nest is that it produces 350 queens and 900 males. These disperse. The Asian hornet spreads on average 78 km per year ( There has been a nest in Birmingham this year ) In France they are making 552,000 nests a year.
This will be catastrophic for bee keepers . As the Asian hornets eat honey bees and destroy colonies. They can eat up to 50 bees each, for their protein. In the UK there have been 18 sightings so far, and 11 nests. No secondary nests. As people are working hard to spot and then destroy the nests to stop them spreading further.
Asian hornets could bring about the end of English Bee keeping as we know it.
What as happened is that UK beekeepers have responded by forming Asian horner teams to seek out, monitor and destroy the Nests they build to protect European bee’s
So, how can you spot one?
They look like this :
What should you do?
If you spot one, call me immediately on 0756 1311026