It is not all about the Asian Hornet. We do also consider how to care for our bees. Most of us know what to do with the bees when it comes to housing them and getting them as productive as possible.
What we do not yet know is how we are going to cope with the presence of the Asian Hornet - and that is why I am writing this. We do know it could be a big problem.
Many beekeepers this month are making the occasional visit to the apiary and checking for food levels and possibly treating for Varroa. However there are others of us who are planning for the possible invasion of the Asian Hornet.
Last year 2019, we were lucky and well set up. We had several sightings of the Asian Hornet which were positive and resulted in the location and eradication of some nests. Did we find all the nests? Did we find them in time? Are there hibernating queens out there just waiting for a warm day to start a new nest? These are all unanswered questions.
Beekeepers are establishing AHATs which are Asian Hornet Action Teams. Each area in Dorset has AHAT coordinator and we also have an AHAT coordinator for Dorset. A list of all the area coordinators is here. We have included some out of county AHAT coordinators as the Asian Hornet does not respect county borders.
So you think you have seen an Asian Hornet and decide to ring one of our coordinators. What happens next? Well a flow chart shown here will show what we get up to.
So that is what we are doing but what can you do to prevent the Asian Hornet establishing itself in this country?
Make certain you have the Asian Hornet App on your phone. It can be got from the same place as you get the rest of your apps.
Make certain you can recognise the Asian Hornet - yellow legs and a single wide yellow band on its abdomen towards the tail.
Tell anyone you can about it. Most of the positive sightings so far have been by members of the general public rather than beekeepers. Between them there are a lot more non beekeeper eyes than there are beekeeper eyes.
As soon as the day temperature is above about 15C Asian Hornets become active. Be ready.