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Asian Giant Hornet invading the Balkans

 
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agapetos
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Location: 40km NE of Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:52 am    Post subject: Asian Giant Hornet invading the Balkans Reply with quote

Hi,
due to the climate change this spring it has been reported that the Asian giant hornet has been spotted in Slovenia, and after a week in Croatia as well.

Well, we (beekeepers from Serbia) are next. It is said that it can destroy an entire hive. It is said that Japanese bees have a way of destroying him:

... but our European bee has not yet developed the defensive mechanism against her.
Do you have any recommendations how to secure the hive from such a pest?
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stevecook172001
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(1) If the hornets have been introduced artificially then, if possible, get rid of them.

(2) If, however, they migrated there naturally and/or they prove impossible to get rid of then, off the top of my head, fit a grid mesh on the hive entrance with the holes in the mesh big enough for the bees to get through but too small for the hornet to get though. In other words, the hornet-equivalent of a queen-excluder. Or, any number of other man-made methods of keeping them out of the hive I haven't though of.

(3) Failing all of the above, allow some Japanese bee genes to enter into and amalgamate with the local bee population and then leave the bees to deal with it themselves.

Of the three, my first preference would, be (1) followed by (3). (2) is a battle that never ends and so is one we humans will always eventually lose because nature has forever on its side. It's not that (2) should not be employed as a short-term measure. It's just never a long-term solution.
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agapetos
Guard Bee


Joined: 26 Jun 2012
Posts: 71
Location: 40km NE of Belgrade, Serbia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I understood it - it seams that it is a migration due to the heightened annual average temperature, so that means that there is plenty of them where they came from.
At the moment Serbian Apiculture Society is trying to find a solution (still haven't found one, at least, not found the long-term one).
I did think about amalgamation, but what are the side effects of that. Are my bees going to make fewer honey (I've heard somewhere that Japanese tried introducing the European honey bee to boost the productivity)? Also - Japanese honeybee package store is not just around the corner...
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Manuel Robert
Guard Bee


Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 73
Location: Bischofsheim, Rhön , Germany

PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The same defence system is already used by europeean bees against other intruders, as far as I know ( balling the intruder and " cooking " it ). I think in the long run they will learn/ evolve to use it on the japanese hornets. But in short term I would provide mechanical help like reduced entrance size and maybe a periscope entrance. I think I would opt for 6mm slit entrances in wood. I think a mesh cover can cause a lot of pollen to be brushed off and be lost for the bees.
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