Hello, welcome to our blog. This is our way of keeping in touch, up to date and showing just how much you're appreciated. This week we want to pass on some really critical information about the current situation with the Asian Hornets. For those of you that haven't heard, Asian Hornets have become a major threat to our native British honeybees. This is such a concern that the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have established the Asian Hornet Week to increase public Awareness.
These hornets are native to Asia, but have been causing serious issues in European countries since 2004. Unlike our native, European Hornets, they are predators of honeybees and other insects, and can rapidly decimate honeybee colonies. The UK has been on high alert since the Asian Hornet was first spotted in the country in 2016 with over 30 nests being discovered in the south so far this year.
The Asian Hornet is a large, black and yellow hornet with distinctive orange legs. It is slightly smaller than the European Hornet, and is a formidable predator. The hornet preys on honeybees by hovering outside the hive and picking off individual bees as they come and go, treating it like a food buffet. They then take the bees back to their own nest to feed to their young. A single hornet can kill up to 50 bees in a day, and a nest can contain thousands of hornets.
Our native honeybees and insects have no natural defences against the Asian Hornets. The threat of the Asian Hornet to the UK honeybee population cannot be overstated. Honeybees play a crucial role in pollinating crops, and their decline could have devastating effects on the food supply chain. The UK government and beekeeping associations are working hard to combat the spread of the hornet, but it is important for everyone to be vigilant and report any sightings of the Asian Hornet to the authorities. By working together, we can help protect our honeybees and ensure their survival for generations to come.
Report any sightings on the Asian Hornet Watch App. More information is available on the link.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and for being vigilant. I am confident that together we can protect our very precious native insects.
Until next time, Claire x