SBKA members Lynne Ingram (Taunton) and Anne Rowberry (Frome) are working with scientists from Exeter University and Jersey beekeepers this week in the fight against deadly Asian hornets which are wreaking havoc on honeybees in the Channel Isles.
They’re part of a team using ground-breaking radio telemetry developed by Dr Pete Kennedy to track the deadly and invasive Asian hornets back to their nests where they can be destroyed.
Not only are they helping the beleaguered beekeepers of Jersey, but also they will be very well placed to provide support to local beekeepers if the need arises.
The situation in Jersey is hugely concerning; the first Asian hornet was spotted there two years ago and they have spread so rapidly that last week alone they destroyed seven honeybee colonies. [In France the first Asian hornet was spotted in 2004 and so far this year thousands of nests have been removed.]
Lynne and Anne will return ahead of the UK’s first Asian hornet week - September 10-16 - which is timed to coincide with the last chance to prevent the emergence of new Asian hornet queens.
We urge all beekeepers, gardeners, wildlife lovers – in fact everyone! – to join in and report any any sightings, preferably with a photo, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Asian hornets are slightly smaller than native European hornets, have a distinctive black/dark brown thorax; brown abdominal segments with the fourth segment almost entirely yellow-orange, brown legs with yellow ends, a black head and an orange-yellow face.