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IMPORTANT AND VITAL: MONITOR THE ASIAN HORNET IN NORTH SOMERSET – WE NEED YOUR POST CODE

STOP PRESS:  We organised a workshop at Tickenham Village Hall on Tuesday 18 April and made  over 15 Asian Hornet traps. When you hang your trap up (in your garden or in your apiary), please send me: e-mail ja.banks1@btinternet.com, your post code.  We intend to place the post codes on a map of our District so we can check the cover we are giving to the monitoring process. Instructions for the Asian Hornet trap are at: http://northsomersetbeekeepers.org/asian-hornet-trap/

I went to the BBKA Spring Convention over the weekend and the big message I have taken from the event is the very real potential for the Asian Hornet to spread across the UK. The Asian Hornet first appeared in France in 2004 and has now spread across of all of France with 50% colony losses reported in the worst hit areas. Bees cannot defend themselves against the Asian Hornet, whereas, collectively, they can defend their hive against the European Hornet.

Locally we have had the first appearance in the UK (remember the isolated start in France in 2004!).

 So what can we do? We need to monitor so that we can provide information on the locations of Asian Hornets so they can be eradicated as the only way to contain the Asian hornet invasion in new territories is to react quickly to any reported sightings, and then locate and destroy the nests as soon as possible. To monitor we need each and every beekeeper in the Club to:

  • build a monitoring trap per apiary (if you have no bees put the trap in your garden) – details of the National Bee Unit trap are on the North Somerset Beekeepers website: http://northsomersetbeekeepers.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/AH_Trap_Mk2.pdf
  • place the trap in a sunny location
  • bait the trap with sweet bait
  • check the trap daily, ideally, (which should have a raised floor), releasing all other insects (except the Asian Hornet).  If you suspect you have caught an Asian hornet, then it may be helpful to place the whole trap, unopened, into a freezer bag that can be sealed tightly; place the bag containing the trap into a domestic freezer for 12 hours before opening, to avoid losing the suspect specimen.

 If an Asian Hornet is caught in the trap (or you suspect this to be the case) call Megan Seymour (07775 119475) and send photographs to Megan.Seymour@apha.gsi.gov.uk and alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk

 In addition, there is a video on YouTube showing how to make the trap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR6MUekAjMo&t=2s  .  The Bee Unit has also produced an app to assist with taking photographs and using the inbuilt GPS on mobile phones  –   https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.ac.ceh.hornets

 I have provided some graphical information:

 

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