Asian hornet seen in Italy
This June Vita (Europe) Limited published news that they confirm the presence of Asian hornet in northern Italy (Liguria).
Hazardous Asian Hornet has been since 2004 rapidly expanding from France and Spain. He penetrated into Europe (from China) through the Agena in France. So the Asian hornet is at it seems a new really big threat to European honey bees.
About Asian hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax)
Slightly smaller than the European Hornet, with queens up to 30mm, and workers up to 25mm, they are easily recognized by their appearance and difficult to confuse with any other species.
Hornet nests are very popular in China because of nutrients (probably the highest protein content in the world of insects) and Medical – they are sold in drug stores 45-60 dollars, depending on the size of the litter.
Strategy of attack
First, group from five to 50 hornet gets close to the entrance to the beehive, about 30cm away. In right moment they attack returning bees that are carrying pollen, fall to the ground with them, cut off the head with their mandibles and transport them to a tree. When they kill most of bees hornets enters the hive to rub it out. The consequences for the bee colony are catastrophic. Because of Asian hornet around Bordeaux (France) they were suffering up to 70% colony losses.
Measures against the hornet
Close to (economical) solution to get rid of Asian hornet is probably only Vita (Europe) Limited. They have a prototype Asian hornet trap that uses pheromones to ensnare the insect, and after a long search may be close to finding a manufacturer who can produce it at a cost that will be affordable to beekeepers.
Till then we hope hornet will not penetrate too far around Europe.
Source: www.spos.info, www.vita-europe.com and www.planetepassion.eu