11 Jan How To Stop The Asian Hornet
Within the past decade, a predatory insect has ravaged honey bee colonies throughout Europe and Asia. This hornet, known as the Asian Hornet or Vespa Velutina, has a particular appetite for honey bees. The Asian Hornet poses a risk to humans as well with painful stings, which in some cases have led to deaths.
The Balkan nations and Turkey have been hit the hardest. A single bite from the Asian Hornet can kill hundreds of honey bees. Ultimately, the Asian Hornet’s quest is to to feed off of honey bee larvae. Moreover, European honey bees haven’t evolved to defend against this deadly predator. Consequently, “the European economic impact is high [and] major colony losses have led some beekeepers to abandon apiculture,” states James Neih, a professor in UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences and lead researcher on the project (University of California – San Diego, 2017).
However, there is hope on the horizon to stop the Asian Hornet before it causes any further damage. Dr. Neih, from the University of California San Diego, along with the help of his Asian colleagues have found a way to stop the Asian Hornet before it’s too late. They have developed a solution “derived from the insect’s natural chemical mating instincts” (University of California – San Diego, 2017).
According to Neih, “We have successfully tested the key sex pheromone compounds of this species and the results show that males are highly attracted to them” (University of California – San Diego, 2017). Consequently, the team has developed traps to lure the male hornet into, attracting them with the solution made up from the sex pheromones of the female.
All in all, controlling the Asian Hornet is vital to keeping European Honey Bee colonies healthy and flourishing. Now that there is a method for controlling them, there is hope that European Honey Bee colonies will thrive.
University of California – San Diego. (2017, October 12). Luring hornets: Scientists unlock sex pheromone of notorious honey bee predator: Traps baited with synthesized pheromone could become solution to invasive Asian hornet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 10, 2018 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171012143413.htm.